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Earliest meeting: September 1780
Final meeting: Thursday 9th July 1840
James Whyte’s History of the British Turf implies that racing first took place at the Shropshire town of Bishops Castle in 1830. However, the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported a meeting taking place as early as 1780 on Oakeley Mynd. That was a two day meeting held in September and they continued to hold the meeting annually until 1785 when it took place on 14th September at Hucklement. Racing appears to have ceased for 24 years before returning in August 1809 on a newly laid out course on Aston Hill. The meeting continued each August until 1837, including the meeting mentioned by Whyte in 1830 which consisted of ‘an inferior days racing’ in the middle of July. It was only in its final year of 1840 that the races were deemed to be sufficiently important to be included in Baily's Racing Register. That final meeting took place on Thursday 9th July 1840 when exactly the same horses occupied the first three places in the South Shropshire Stakes on Wednesday 8th July, and the Earl of Powis Castle Stakes on Thursday 9th July. Mr Barrow’s Catherina beat Miss Kitty Cockle and Mr Hughes’ colt by Jupiter.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Viscount Clive, Earl of Powis
Principal Races South Shropshire Stakes, Tally-Ho Stakes, Farmers Stakes, Earl of Powis Castle Stakes
Thursday 4th August 1836

The TALLY-HO STAKES took place on Thursday 4th August and was run over a two course with runners each subscribing 5 sovereigns and the course adding 20.. The result was:-
1. WELCOME 5 years old 11st 7lb Owned by Mr E Mayne
2. WOODMAN 5 years old 11st 7lb Owned by Mr Hughes
Also at the Thursday meeting the records show that 2 further races took place, one of which saw Ferryman beat 2 rivals in the Handicap Stakes, but also included the Farmers' Stakes with the following result:-FARMERS' STAKES

  1. Unnamed 4 year old 10st 9lb Owned by Mr Davis

The meeting extended to a second day on Friday 5th August and included a race in which prize money was increased by 25 sovereigns due to the generosity of Viscount Clive. The result is shown below:-
1. BRECON LASS 4 years old 8st 1lb Owned by Mr Cliff
2. OSTADE 3 years old 7st 1lb Owned by Mr Prest
3. EASTHAM 6 years old 10st 11lb Owned by Mr James

Wednesday 8th to Thursday 9th July 1840

The South Shropshire Stakes over 2 miles and a distance
1. Catherina owned by Mr Barrow
2. Miss Kitty Cockle owned by Mr Phillips
3. Unnamed horse by Jupiter owned by Mr Hughes

The Earl of Powis Castle Stakes over 2 ¼ miles
1. Catherina owned by Mr Barrow
2. Miss Kitty Cockle owned by Mr Phillips
3. Unnamed horse by Jupiter owned by Mr Hughes

The final meeting took place on Thursday 9th July 1840 and the results are shown above.

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

Course today Initially on Oakeley Mynd and then on Aston 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

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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
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Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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