BIGGLESWADE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Friday 24th April 1840
Final meeting: Friday 10th September 1869
The market town and civil parish of Biggleswade lies on the River Ivel in Bedfordshire, although back in the middle of the 19th century it was part of Hertfordshire. It had its own racecourse which opened in April 1840 with a six race card. Despite the town’s prominent position, crowds were not high, and racing ceased for the next 3 years until Friday 12th April 1844 when the main Sweepstake was won by Mr Piper’s Full-up, beating Creeping Jenny and Speculation. Racing lapsed again shortly afterwards, only to return on Monday 21st April 1862. It held its final meeting on Friday 10th September 1869 with a programme consisting of four races, including a Plate race over the flat course and a Hurdle race. The crowds were said to be immense, although mainly consisted of betting men, with every possible form of gambling available on the course. The ‘County History of Bedfordshire’ was rather disparaging and dismissive when it stated that ‘the races do not demand notice’.

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

The programme consisted of two races, a Flat Race and a Hurdle race. The ‘County History of Bedfordshire’ is rather disparaging and dismissive when it records that ‘the races do not demand notice’.

Local Patrons Mr Pope, Mr Carter
Principal Races

Biggleswade Flat Race, Biggleswade Hurdle Race

Friday 24th April 1840
Biggleswade Town Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Gamestar, bay gelding owned by Mr W Pope
2. Buck, bay gelding owned by Mr Carter
3. Nell, brown mare owned by Mr Ayres

The final meeting took place on Friday 10th September 1869.
Course today In fields close to the station.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com