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Earliest meeting: Friday 25th May 1663
Final meeting: Thursday 29th May 1698
Banstead Commons consists of four expansive green areas in Surrey, of which Banstead Heath is the largest at 760 acres. Two smaller areas are Burgh Heath and Park Downs, consisting of 87 acres and 74 acres respectively, but the fourth area is Banstead Downs which today covers 430 acres of downland. Early records show that racing first took place at Epsom Downs in 1661, with further meetings on Banstead Downs on Friday 25th to Sunday 27th May 1663. Just two months later a second meeting of the year was held on Friday 27th July 1663. Whilst it is likely that racing did take place in the intervening years, records are sparse, and the next time racing is recorded on Banstead Downs was on Friday 30th November 1691 when a £20 Plate was contested. Throughout the final years of the 17th Century meetings took place at least three times a year, in February, a main meeting in May, and an end of year meeting in November. A grand meeting took place on Thursday 29th May 1698 when the richest plate that had ever been contested on Banstead Downs was won by the Right Honourable Lady Winchelsea. The horse’s name is not mentioned, although a field of five were in competition.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Local Patrons Right Honourable Lady Winchelsea
Principal Races Banstead Downs Plate
The final meeting took place on Thursday 29th May 1698.

Tuesday 27th March 1716
A special horse race took place on Banstead Downs for a wager of 30 Guineas a side, for a horse to run 100 miles in less than 13 hours. In the event the winner completed the distance in just over 12 hours to land the wager.

Course today On the Common of Banstead Downs.
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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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