Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: Friday 7th May 1841
Final meeting: Friday 3rd May 1878
The village of Beckford and neighbouring Bredon Hill are both located in Worcestershire, south west of Evesham and near to Tewksbury. The area was once famous for its racecourse, initially holding races in the first week of May 1841 ‘under the auspices’ of Joseph Freeman. After a 3 race programme there were several pugilistic encounters and an aristocratic game of Aunt Sally. The course was located a mile from Beckford on Bredon Hill. Races continued to be well supported for the next 22 years until the final meeting took place on Friday 3rd May 1878.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Joseph Freeman

Principal races Beckford Silver Cup,  Beckford Hunters Steeplechase, Scurry Stakes

Tuesday 1st April 1856
Beckford Sweepstakes over 4 miles
1. Rebecca, bay mare owned by Mr Barnard
2. Ironbrace, bay gelding owned by Mr Sommers
3. Motley, bay gelding owned by Mr Byers

The Archer family had a close association with Beckford races, both as jockeys and owners. The father of Fred Archer, William Archer, won the 1858 Grand National on Little Charley and later rode Little Dwarf at Beckford in his final race as a jockey. The young Fred Archer often rode in pony races at the course. In 1867 an entirely new course was used for the meeting on Tuesday 30th July, which ran adjacent to the previous course. It had a dangerous descent on the right hand side of the course, and on the run-in it had a formidable hill. The main race of the day was the Farmers’ Hurdle Race, but the card finished with an interesting pony race in which Fred Archer came second.
Tuesday 20th July 1867
Farmers’ Hurdle Race over 1 ½ miles and 4 hurdles

1. Wiseman owned by Mr Butt and ridden by Woods
2. The Orphan owned by Mr G Capel and ridden by Wavison
3. Miss Jones owned by Mr Taylor and ridden by Anthony
Beckford Pony Race
1. Nelly owned by Mr Williams and ridden by J Robertson
2. Moss Rose owned by Mr William Archer and ridden by Fred Archer

Course today A mile outside Beckford on Bredon Hill.
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.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to