Brotherhood House in Rugby

Brotherhood House, Rugby, 2021; formerly Baptist Chapel and then community centre. Red brick building with stone dressings and slate roof, round-headed windows and 2 entrance doors, fenced off | Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Brotherhood House, Rugby, 2021; formerly Baptist Chapel and then community centre
Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Brotherhood House, previously  St Andrew's church house, which was taken over by the Rugby Brotherhood, Rugby.  1959 |  IMAGE LOCATION: (Rugby Library)
Brotherhood House, previously St Andrew's church house, which was taken over by the Rugby Brotherhood, Rugby. 1959
IMAGE LOCATION: (Rugby Library)
Reference: T, 726.5899.12, img: 6219
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Side of Brotherhood House, Rugby, 2021. White-painted, red-brick building with 6 sash windows (one boarded up). | Image courtesy of Anne Langley
Side of Brotherhood House, Rugby, 2021
Image courtesy of Anne Langley

The Brotherhood House in Gas Street Rugby has an interesting and varied history.

Baptist chapel

It was built as a Particular Baptist Chapel around 1803 with a vestry and a 3-stalled stable; by 1845 a schoolroom had been added in place of the stable. In the early 20th century, the chapel was sold to help fund a new Baptist Chapel in Regent Place.1

St Andrew’s Parish Hall

In 1906 the building was bought by the rector of St Andrew’s Church for £1,500 for use as a parish hall. Children from the Murray School used it as a dining room.

Brotherhood House

In 1932 the building was purchased by the Rugby Brotherhood and renamed Brotherhood House.2 Non-conformist congregations in Rugby had joined together in 1912 to form the Rugby Brotherhood. They recruited around 400 members and held regular meetings. By March 1913 they had an associated athletic club and in 1916, during the First World War, they sent Christmas cards to their members in the trenches.3 Brotherhood House became a lively community centre that was hired for various activities during the 20th century: a jazz club, a youth club, dances, jumble sales and rehearsals for the local theatre.

Subsequent History

More recently the building became the 1A Bar and Grill, but this failed.It is now derelict, fenced off, and the site is clearly ripe for redevelopment.

Do tell us if you have memories of activities in this building.

References

1 Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 2718/1-4.

2 Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 2718/5-9.

3 Langley, A., ‘Paradise Lost: Primitive Methodism in Warwickshire’, Warwickshire History, Vol. XVIII, 2, 2021, p. 89.

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