Visit our Victorian village founded in the 1880's on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau!

Visit our Victorian village founded in the 1880's on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau!
Historic Rugby

Historic Rugby is a heritage treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972 and pursuing National Landmark Status for the Thomas Hughes Library, believed to be the oldest completely preserved public lending library in America. The National Trust for Historic Preservation calls Rugby one of the most authentically preserved historic villages in America.

Historic Rugby continues a 47-year quest to restore, preserve and protect this unique village and interpret its fascinating history to visitors from all over Tennessee and the world.

Enjoy this well-preserved rural 19th-century village in a variety of ways.

Historic Rugby offers interpretive tours on MOST days during the year. Please Contact Us before you come to make certain that we are open when you plan to visit.

We also host annual events, special events, and workshops. Please check our Calendar to find out the exact dates and times.

We also offer lodging, dining, and shopping, and there are many attractions nearby. We are fortunate to be surrounded by unspoiled, protected woodlands and streams that offer beautiful spots for hiking and other outdoor pursuits.

While you are in Rugby, there are many things you can do!

Site Admission & Tour

Site Admission & Tour

Begin at the Rugby Visitor Centre & Theatre with its 32-foot wall mural of Rugby in its heyday. Relax in comfortable Johnson Theatre seats for a 22-minute showing of the award-winning Rugby history film – The Power of a Dream. (The movie is free of charge.) Then take the guided walking tour to the 1882 Thomas Hughes Free Public Library, 1884 Kingstone Lisle (the founder’s home), 1887 Christ Church Episcopal, and 1907 Schoolhouse Exhibits. Tour admission for 2019 is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (age 60 or above), $4 for students K-12, and preschoolers free.


Historic Rugby hosts many special events each year. For current information, you can check the Events and Activities page or visit our Facebook page. Our Calendar has the events listings for the year.


We have three distinct lodging facilities; beautiful Historic Newbury House, a large Victorian Inn which was completely restored in 2012; the smaller Percy Cottage which offers all the comforts of home; and rustic Pioneer Cottage. Our Lodge in Rugby menu tab has all the information you need to book your stay in Rugby!


Historic Rugby sponsors several workshops throughout the year, ranging from outdoor topics such as fern identification and geology to special crafts workshops featuring White Oak Basketry or Victorian Quilt Squares. Our Workshops tab under the When You Visit menu heading will give you all the particulars, and our Calendar will provide you with the dates.


Lunch & takeout service is available at R.M. Brooks Store daily except Wed. & Sunday. R.M. Brooks Store is a short distance down Rugby Parkway to the west, call 423-628-2533 for most up-to-date information.


Historic Rugby operates the Commissary Museum Store in Rugby, which features a unique assortment of Appalachian crafts as well as vintage, antique, and other handcrafted items. Rugby’s ‘Main Street’ also boasts the Spirit of Red Hill Shop. Go to our Shopping page for more information.

The Outdoors

The scenic Upper Cumberland Plateau offers many opportunities for outdoor activities. Within Rugby, itself are the historic trails to the Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole and Meeting of the Waters. These two trails are part of the Big South Fork National Park and Recreation Area and are accessed by the Laurel Dale Cemetery road. Also in Rugby is the new Rugby State National Area, featuring the Massengale Home place and Trail. The Outdoors page has much more information for you.

Area Attractions

We have many other attractions close by that can be mixed in with a visit to Rugby. Our Area Attractions page has more detailed information.