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Earliest meeting: 30th July 1717
Final meeting: Tuesday 7th June 1870
Although there is some evidence that race meetings took place in the Yorkshire town of Barnsley prior to 1717, the earliest record indicates a two day meeting was staged on Barnsley Moor on 30th and 31st July 1717. The main celebrations after racing were called ‘Ordinaries’ and these were held at the Old White Bear and The Horns, both in the Westgate area of the town. The Old White Bear in Crosshills is a whitewashed pub, traditional in style, which was built in the 1700s and still exists today. The Horns Inn also still exists and is a wonderful building on Woodfall Lane. Further meetings took place on Barnsley Moor right up to 1776 when the common land became enclosed. At that point racing switched to Longcar House for a short period. Racing was revived when a two day meeting was held on 25th and 26th August 1851 at Beechfields to coincide with feast week. This proved to be a successful period of racing which lasted until the meeting on 22nd August 1859. However, racing then lapsed because trade at the races was so poor that traders made insufficient profit to pay their expenses. Racing returned again in August 1869 at Hunter’s Cottage, but the final meeting, which was staged at Queen’s New Ground, took place on Tuesday 7th June 1870.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Earl of Stafford, Thomas Hawksworth, Henry Bowles

Principal Races Grand Stand Stakes, Cavalry Cup, Corporation Plate

30th & 31st July 1717

Barnsley Plate valued at £15
Barnsley Plate valued at £10

The main celebrations prior to the race were called the ‘Ordinaries’ and these were held at the Old White Bear and The Horns, both in the Westgate area of the town. The area is now covered by Westgate Plaza, the home of the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The Old White Bear in Crosshills is a whitewashed pub, traditional in style and built in the early 1700’s and still exists today. The Horns Inn is a wonderful building on Woodfall Lane.

A further meeting took place on Barnsley Moor on 14th September 1730, although there is little evidence of the runners and owners.

The final meeting took place on Barnsley Moor on Monday 22nd August 1859

Monday 25th August 1851
Cavalry Stakes B7
1. Roache Maid, bay mare owned by Mr Pearson
2. Miss Emily, bay mare owned by Mr Consitt
3. Chance, bay mare owned by Mr Ledger

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

Course today At a range of venues from Barnsley Moor to Queen’s New Grounds over a 153 year period.
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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