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Earliest meeting: Thursday 11th September 1755
Final meeting: Thursday 29th April 1875
The Essex town of Brentwood, located 20 miles east north east of Charing Cross, is on the edge of the busy London commuter belt. However, back in the middle of the 18th century it was much more rural, surrounded by glorious open countryside which it used to good effect to stage race meetings. The earliest two day meeting was organised by the South Essex Hunt on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th September 1755 when the Earl of Tilney Purse was won by the local MP William How with Young Babram, while the Hunters 4 mile race went to Turk, owned by Mr Horn. Meetings were held intermittently, although there was a two day meeting on 2nd and 3rd September 1762 when the feature Brentwood Purse saw Mr Marshall’s Squirril (sic) beat Lord Portmore’s Miss and Little John. Racing took place from 1774 to 1777 and then ceased until the 19th century. Meetings were held in 1860 and for a prolonged period from 1870 to 1875. The final meeting took place on Thursday 29th April 1875 on the old racecourse at Childerditch, opening with the Farmers Steeplechase which was won by Mr T Milbank’s Jack-in-the-box, while the principal race, the Brentwood Open Handicap Steeplechase saw Mr A Poole’s Nobleman beat Tapestry and Charlie.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Portmore, Honourable William How, Earl of Tilney
Principal Races Earl of Tilney Purse, Stakes & Purses
Thursday 11th - Friday 12th September 1755

Thursday 11th September 1755 Earl of Tilney Purse
1. Young Babram owned by Honourable William How
2. Chance owned by Captain Vernon

Friday 12th September 1755 Hunters 4 Mile Purse
1. Turk owned by Mr Horn
2. Nimrod owned by Mr Burlton
3. Champion owned by Mr Harvey

2nd and 3rd September 1762

Brentwood 2 mile Purse
1. Squirril owned by Mr Marshall
2. Miss owned by Lord Portmore
3. Little John owned by Mr Hodge

The final meeting took place on Thursday 29th April 1875.
Course today On the old racecourse at Childerditch.
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.
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  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    
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