Rugby; The Island

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameRugby; The Island
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityWarwickshire
1974 AuthorityWarwickshire
Civil ParishRugby

The monks of Pipewell Abbey who had a grange here (SP 57 SW 4) "surrounded the ancient tumulus in the close with a moat, throwing the earth inwards and enlarging the space. This moat was filled from the land springs on the upper strata of the gravel.." and used as a stew for fish. (Bloxham). Wait describes 'the island' as having a small ditch, but says that in 1797 this ditch was "a moat from 4' to 6' wide, and full of water. A wooden drawbridge with a spiked gate in the centre, crossed this at the place where the cricket pavillion now stands." (Wait). Rugby 'the island' mound - scheduled as an Ancient Monument under Miscellaneous Sites (MoW list 1953). The original nature of 'The Island' is uncertain. It could have been a BA barrow, a small motte, or even a mound constructed specifically for meditation by the monks of the Grange (as was their practice at Pipewell, See SP 88 NW 8). The name 'The Island' is still in current use, and it is now grass covered and planted with trees. A notice states that the moat was filled in in 1847 (Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 21-MAY-68). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The Grange moved here in late C13 on land given to them by Henry Rokesby who held the small castle at Rugby Hall Place. There is nothing in the VCH to suggest two manors in Rugby so the possibility of two castles seems very remote.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP503747
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  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1951 VCH Warwickshire Vol. 6 p. 147, 203 online transcription
  • Wait, O.W., 1893, Rugby Past and Present p. 84
  • Bloxam, M.H., 1889, Rugby School and Neighbourhood (London: Whittaker & Co) p. 182


  • Dugdale, Wm., 1656, The Antiquities of Warwickshire (Thomas Warren) p. 16 online copy