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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 19th April 1837
Final meeting: Thursday 26th March 1846
The earliest record of racing taking place in the Warwickshire town of Alcester was in 1837 when a one day meeting was held on Wednesday 19th April. The town, on the Rivers Alne and Arrow, dates from Roman times and was once a walled town. It is situated some 8 miles west of Stratford upon Avon and today has a population of less than 6,500. At the inaugural meeting the feature race, the 3 Guineas Sweepstake, was won by Mr Walker’s Sportsman. The Sporting Magazine of 1840 reported on a meeting in April 1840 when Mr Powell’s Perception won the opening race. At the meeting on Wednesday 14th April 1841 the feature Alcester Steeplechase was won by Mischief, owned by Mr Kellett and ridden by Lamplugh, who beat True Blue into second. Racing continued in the town for a further 6 years before the final meeting on Thursday 26th March 1846.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Powell, Mr Williams
Principal Races Alcester Sovereign Stakes

Wednesday 19th April 1837

Alcester Sweepstakes of 3 Guineas with 50 added
1. Sportsman, owned and ridden by Mr Walker
Alcester Sweepstakes of 2 Guineas with 15 added
1. Sportsman, owned and ridden by Mr Walker

Wednesday 22nd April 1840

Alcester 5 Sovereigns Sweepstakes
1. Perfection owned by Mr Powell
2. Shamrock owned by Mr Coates
3. Jack Robinson owned by Mr Cummines

Alcester 3 Sovereigns Sweepstakes
1. Black Bess owned by Mr Williams
2. Rory O’More owned by Mr Maule
3. Barmaid owned by Mr Darke

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Thursday 26th March 1846.

Course location: On Alcester Heath to the north-east of the town.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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