Rugby's blue plaques - Gilbert's original workshop

Record details

Gilbert's original workshop

William Gilbert, born in 1799, occupied the site of 19 High Street for around 25 years, from 1815 to 1842. Then in 1842 he moved to 5 St Matthews Street. William made the early balls by stitching four pieces of leather around a freshly removed pig’s bladder. This was inflated by mouth through a clay pipe and the appearance of the ball, much larger and rounder than those of the present day, was dictated by the shape of the bladder. Under the aegis of three generations of Gilberts, the nature of the ball evolved into the more oval-shaped ball.

19 High Street