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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 2nd April 1845
Final meeting: Tuesday 12th April 1853
The village of Alwinton, situated 30 kilometres west of Alnwick, is in Northumberland and was previously called Allenton. The village had its own racecourse and the inaugural meeting was on Wednesday 2nd April 1845, with race details shown below. The next year the meeting was held on Tuesday 31st March 1846 when tragedy struck in the opening race. The Chase was hotly contested by The Falcon and Weathercock, with The Falcon just prevailing. Immediately after the race Weathercock suffered a fatal heart attack. The 3 ½ mile course started at Clennell Haugh and, after a days’ competitive racing, Ordinaries were provided by Mrs Burn of Alwinton. Races were staged annually for the next 7 years until the final meeting on Tuesday 12th April 1853.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons Walter Selby of Biddleston Hall
Principal races Alwinton Steeplechase, Alwinton Hurdle

Wednesday 2nd April 1845
Alwinton £20 Purse twice round

1. Fairplay owned by Mr Robson
2. Jenny owned by Mr Gill
3. Lucy Collingwood owned by Mr Reed

Tuesday 31st March 1846
Alwinton Hurdle Sweepstake over 1 ½ miles and 4 four feet high hurdles

1. The Gager, bay mare owned by Mr T Selby and ridden by John Arkless
2. Unnamed roan horse owned by Mr Selby and ridden by George Black
3. Grey-Tailed Grace, brown mare owned by Mr A Ord and ridden by Robert Pine
Alwinton Sweepstake over 1 ½ miles
1. Falcon, brown horse owned by Mr T selby and ridden by Mr Richards
2. Weathercock, bay horse owned and ridden by Mr Gray
3. Streamer, black horse owned by Mr Sitgreave and ridden by Mr W Wilson
Alwinton Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. The Falcon owned by Mr Selby and ridden by Richards
2. Weathercock owned by Mr Grey
3. Streamlet owned by Mr Sitgreave

The next year a meeting was held on and the Newcastle Journal provided full details of the results and the course which was taken in the steeplechase.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 12th April 1853.

Tuesday 12th April 1853
Stewards were Walter Selby of Biddlestone and Hunter Allgood of Bolton House
Alwinton Annual Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles of fine hunting ground which included 13 fences and a 15 yard wide brook
1. Orphan, brown horse owned by Mr Selby
2. Glorious Jack, bay gelding owned by Mr Harper

I am grateful to David Jones for supplying the googlemap shown below on which he has traced the path of the steeplechase course.

Steeplechase Course

The 3 mile chase course consisted of 9 fences, starting at Clennell Haugh before entering a heavily ploughed field. The course then crossed the Alwin, went along Alwinton and North Field before encountering a challenging fence at Keb House (Keb was the ancient word for a lamb shelter). The course continued across the Holstein (Hoseden) Burn, west of Barron (Barrow) Mill, before progressing along Barron (Barrow) Haugh and on to the winning chair at Alwinton Haugh. This would mean the race started near Clennell Hall, crossed the Alwin, passed by the north of Alwinton village, went past Barrow Mill and at some stage looped round before ending on Alwinton Haugh, which I have always assumed is where the Show is held.  The dinner was at the Rose and Thistle (the innkeeper in the 1840s was Isabella Burn) (at the time there were two inns in the village)

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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