The core of the village has been declared a conservation area because it has many buildings of historical interest. Some of the buildings date from as far back as the 15th century and still have traditional thatch roofs.
For centuries Dunchurch was an important staging post on the coaching roads between London and Holyhead (now the A45 road) (classified as B4429 through the village) and Oxford and Leicester (now the A426 road). At one point 40 stagecoaches every day would stop at Dunchurch. Coaching inns developed in Dunchurch to accommodate these visitors (the "Dun Cow", the "Bell" and "the Star"). Other inns were the "Mother Red Cap", "Crown" and "Red Lion". The "Bell" and "Red Lion" premises were destroyed by enemy action in 1940. All other properties can still be seen today.
Many famous people throughout history stayed at Dunchurch. Most notably in 1605, the Gunpowder Plotters stayed at the Red Lion Inn (reputed to be the private residence now called 'Guy Fawkes House') in Dunchurch awaiting news of Guy Fawkes's success at blowing up the Houses of Parliament. If he had been successful they planned to kidnap the King's daughter Elizabeth of Bohemia from nearby Coombe Abbey. Other famous people having stayed there include a young Queen Victoria (before she became Queen), the Duke of Wellington. Robert Stephenson stayed at Dunchurch whilst the Kilsby Tunnel was constructed.
Dunchurch is the birthplace of the eighteenth-century hymnwriter William Tans'ur. It is also the birthplace of the athlete Katharine Merry, and was the home for England cricketer Ian Bell for many years.
The earliest historical reference to Dunchurch was in the Domesday Book in the 11th century which mentioned a settlement called Doncerce. Dunchurch was for many centuries more important than neighbouring Rugby; however with the coming of the railways (to Rugby) and the decline of the coaching trade, Rugby grew into a large town and eclipsed Dunchurch.
In the centre of Dunchurch is a statue of Lord John Douglas Montague Scott (1809-1860) a 19th century landlord, Scottish M.P. and younger brother to the Duke of Buccleuch. At New Year an annual tradition in Dunchurch is to dress up the statue in the garb of a cartoon or TV character.
There are three churches in the village: St Peter's (C of E) in the centre, a Methodist chapel in Cawston Lane and a Baptist church on the outskirts of the village on the Coventry road.
The village has a sportsfield on Rugby Road donated to the village by Baron Waring in the 1920s. Currently Dunchurch & Bilton Cricket Club play in the summer months and Dunchurch Football Club play in the winter. Cricket has been played on the land since the 1800s. In 1999 Dunchurch Cricket Club merged with Bilton Cricket Club to form Dunchurch & Bilton Cricket Club.
Harry Potter and the Dunchurch Statue Mystery; LOCALS NOMINATE LIKELY SUSPECTS AS TIME NEARS FOR MYSTERY MAKEOVER FOR VILLAGE MONUMENT
Dec 19, 2001; Byline: DUNCAN GIBBONS Who dresses the Dunchurch statue? Someone knows, but they are not saying. The stunt is set up in...