BLICKLING RACECOURSE

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: Tuesday 22nd October 1805
Final meeting: Wednesday 10th October 1810
Racing was first recorded at Blickling in 1805 and continued until Wednesday 10th October 1810, although there is no evidence of a meeting taking place in 1809. The course was situated on the Blickling Estate in Norfolk, about a mile and a half north west of Aylsham off the B1354 Aylsham to Saxthorpe Road. The park around Blickling Hall was extended in the 1770’s to provide the room for the racecourse. The viewing tower in the Park at Blickling was built in 1773 as a private grandstand to view the private racecourse which had been installed in the 1750’s by the Duke of Buckingham. It is built on a number of levels and enabled the nobility to use the top section of the tower to see each of the 7 courses laid out on the Blickling Estate. This would have included a course for the 4 and 5 furlong sprint races, as well as the long distance 2, 3 and 4 mile courses. Next to Blickling Hall is St Andrews Church, and inside the church are tombs and plaques in memory of the inhabitants of the Hall during this period of history. One such plaque is in memory of William Assheton Harbord, also known as Lord Suffield, who died on 1st August 1821 aged just 55. He was the owner of Czarina, who won the Norfolk Sweepstakes and Produce 2YO Stakes at Blickling, and of Master Betty who won a race at the first meeting to be recorded in the Racing Calendar in 1805.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Colonel Harbord, Colonel Wyndham
Principal Races Blickling Sweepstakes, Norfolk Sweepstakes, Welter Stakes, Produce 2YO Stakes

Tuesday 22nd to Wednesday 23rd October 1805

Blickling Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Master Betty owned by Colonel Harbord
2. Trudge owned by Major Wilson
3. Yorkshire Lad owned by Colonel Wyndham

Norfolk Sweepstakes over a mile
1. Czarina owned by Colonel Harbord
2. Allegranti owned by Mr Gunton
3. Luna owned by Colonel Harbord

Welter Stakes over 2 miles
1. Blickling owned by Colonel Wyndham
2. Smoaker owned by Mr Hussey

Produce 2YO Stakes over a mile
1. Czarina owned by Colonel Harbord
2. Unnamed filly by Wonder owned by Mr Thomlinson

The viewing tower in the Park at Blickling was built in 1773 as a private grandstand to view the private racecourse which had been installed in the 1750’s by the Duke of Buckingham. It is built on a number of levels and enabled the nobility to use the top section of the tower to see each of the 7 courses laid out on the Blickling Estate. This would have included a course for the 4 and 5 furlong sprint races, as well as the long distance 2, 3 and 4 mile courses. Next to Blickling Hall is St Andrews Church, and inside the church are tombs and plaques in memory of the inhabitants of the Hall during this period of history. One such plaque is in memory of William Assheton Harbord, also known as Lord Suffield, who died on 1st August 1821 aged just 55. He was the owner of Czarina, who won the Norfolk Sweepstakes and Produce 2YO Stakes at Blickling, and of Master Betty who won a race at the first meeting to be recorded in the Racing Calendar in 1805. The plaque was given by his wife Caroline, daughter of John Hobart, Earl of Buckingham and of his first wife Mary Anne Hobart, daughter of Sir Thomas Drury. A tomb in the church, near to the plaque, is of William Schomberg Robert, 8th Marquis of Lothian. When he died in 1870 he left behind a widow, Constance Hariet Mahones, daughter of Henry John, 18th Earl of Shrewsbury, and she lived as a widow for a further 31 years at Blickling Hall, and died on 10th October 1901.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 10th October 1810.

Course today

The viewing tower, on the Blickling Estate, still exists and can be hired as a self-catering cottage with clear views over the open parkland which once contained the racetrack.

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

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.
ORDER FORM
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    
Total    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com