There are two possible origins for the name of Cubbington based on its earlier names. The first is Cobynton, meaning “town of the descendants of Coba”. The second is from the name used for a period of time after the Domesday Book of 1086, Cumbynton. Cumbe was a medieval word signifying that a settlement was in a low or deep hollow. The fact that the village lies in a shallow valley supports the second theory
In early November 1605 a group of men, including Robert Catesby, who were involved in the gunpowder plot, passed through the village. They were fleeing from London after the arrest of Guy Fawkes. They were on their way to Wales (via Warwick Castle to steal fresh horses), after a meeting at Dunchurch, near Rugby.
Apart from the parish church, Cubbington’s notable former landmark was the windmill which stood at the top of Windmill Hill, the section of Welsh Road which crosses the road to Rugby. The first mention of the windmill was in 1355 in a dispute between the Prior of Kenilworth and the Abbot of Stoneleigh. No mention of it was made again however until it appeared on a map of Warwickshire over 400 years later in 1789. The sails of the windmill could be turned using a wheel to face in the optimum direction in relation to the prevailing wind.
Cubbington Manor House is said to be haunted by a young girl who starved to death when her mentally-ill father locked them all in the house and refused to speak to the outside world.
Until the mid-1820s the population of Cubbington was larger than that of Leamington, which now dwarfs Cubbington.
Cubbington men served in the First World War and Second World War. In the First World War 139 men served their country, 31 of whom lost their lives. In the Second World War 10 men lost their lives. Although the village never received direct hits from Luftwaffe bombers two bombs landed in Cubbington Woods near the village after a raid on Coventry about 10 miles (16 km) to the north.
The first buildings in the area were along Rugby Road. Most of the area was developed as a planned housing estate after the Second World War. Plans were drawn up in 1946 and a mixture of medium to large semi-detached houses, detached houses and bungalows were built in the 1950s. The land was originally owned by Lord Leigh, then owner of Stoneleigh Abbey, and many of the roads are named after towns in Scotland such as Dunblane Drive and Stirling Avenue. The Rugby Tavern public house existed long before the houses and was originally some 330 feet (100 m) east of where it now stands. It was opened for the first time where it now stands by Arthur Savage and his family on King George’s Silver Jubilee in 1935. They ran the pub for many years all living above the premises. His granddaughter Micheline Julie Warnier born there in 1944, her mother Betty Savage worked behind the bar married to Gilbert victor Julian Warnier and the family left for another public house around 1961. It was renovated in the early 2000s after being gutted by a fire.
South Cubbington Wood and North Cubbington Wood are ancient woods in the parish, outside the village.
Pingle Brook, which flows south-westwards through the village, is a 1.4 miles (2.3 km) long tributary of the River Leam. It is normally mostly invisible within the village due to the sheltered nature of its course and its size. Heavy rains in July 2007 caused the brook to burst its banks, flooding streets in the village with over two feet of water, and the event was reported in the local and national press and television networks.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary has a documented chronology of vicars dating from 1346. The church was originally a chapelry of Leek Wootton and was granted to Kenilworth Priory at the priory’s foundation by Geoffrey de Clinton in 1122. By 1331 it had become a separate parish and was appropriated by (fully granted to) the monastery; a vicarage with house, mortuaries, altarage and small tithes being granted in 1345. The building of the present church was probably started by the Augustinian canons at Kenilworth in the early 12th century and when finished consisted of the nave, chancel, south aisle and western tower. The parish magazine is called Contact and is distributed throughout Cubbington and New Cubbington.
Jane Austen’s brother James was vicar of St Mary’s between 1792 and 1820, but never visited Cubbington as he lived in Hampshire where he was vicar of Steventon and another parish, where he took services every Sunday. Because of the distance between Hampshire and Warwickshire, he employed a curate to perform the vicar’s duties at Cubbington.
The earliest known record of a school in Cubbington is from 1780 on a different site from any of the schools now in existence. The first buildings on the site of the present Cubbington School were erected in 1846. Extensions to the school were made in 1893 and the 1960s. Our Lady and St Teresa’s School was opened in 1961 on a site overlooking much of the surrounding countryside.