Bellewstown Racecourse History
NOTE:The badges displayed on this page are not authentic and are for artistic display only.

Although the Curragh can boast being the first racecourse in Ireland in April 1634, Bellewstown followed closely on its heels and is the second longest continuously running course in the country. Early records indicate it first held a meeting in August 1726, and racing was certainly firmly established in 1780 when George III sponsored one of His Majesty’s Plates at the meeting. In 1812 the Irish Turf Club were conscious of over-crowding in the racing calendar and allocated meetings to each course. Bellewstown were fortunate in its allocation of the last full week in June. The meeting has run successfully at its present course since February 1859.

Currently the course offers 5 fixtures annually.
Although Bellewstown remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Ashbourne closed its gates for the final time in 1855.
Racing first took place in the County Meath town of Ashbourne, some 12 miles north of Dublin, as early as 1829. The town used to be called Killeglan, and the course is likely to have been laid out by M de Montmorency on the estate of Killeglan Castle which, at one time, had welcomed Oliver Cromwell. In 1838 the estate and Castle were owned by Thomas Carter. The meeting on Tuesday 3rd April 1832 was held at the Garrison Steeplechase course in Ashbourne and attracted an immense crowd as well as 20 entries for the big race, an unusual thing at that point in history. Although a grandstand had been erected for his Excellency, the Marquess of Anglesey, he actually preferred to see the sport on horseback and was accompanied by his sons, Lord George and Lord Alfred. It is known that a race meeting took place in 1844 and that there was a lapse in racing until it was revived in 1855. The final meeting was held on Monday 26th November 1855.
I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

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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