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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 19th August 1755
Final meeting: Friday 13th May 1904
Bridgwater, a Somerset market town on the edge of the Somerset Levels, first staged racing on the Bridgwater and West Somerset course from Tuesday 19th to Thursday 21st August 1755. The early course, on Chilton Common close to the river near Chilton Trinity, was a mile in circumference and contained a mound in the centre which acted as a natural viewing point. All entries for the races were made at the Crown Inn in the town centre on St John Street. Racing continued intermittently, but when Taunton Races ceased in 1813, Bridgwater inherited their fixtures and the meeting flourished for 21 years until 1834. Flat racing in the town came to an end on 8th September 1868 and the town saw no more racing until a brief revival on Friday 13th May 1898. For a short period National Hunt racing switched to the course at Fairfield, but racing finally ceased in 1929.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Shard, Mr Hanning
Principal Races County Members Plate, Ladies Plate
Tuesday 19th August-Thursday 21st August 1755

Tuesday 19th August 1755 Hunters Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Lath owned by Mr Sturt
2. Dreadnought owned by Mr Chapple

Thursday 21st August 1755 Bridgewater Hunters Purse
1. Sulkey Jack owned by Mr Hanning
2. Country Lass owned by Mr Brooks
3. Foxhunter owned by Mr Binford

14th to 16th September 1762

Bridgewater Weight for Age Handicap over 2 miles
Snail owned by Mr Dilly
Crazy owned by Mr Beckford
Foxhunter owned by Mr Bailey

Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th July 1824

Bridgwater County Members Plate over 3 miles
1. Prosody owned by Mr Worth
2. Isabella owned by Mr W West
3. Codicil owned by Mr Shard

Bridgwater Ladies Plate over 3 miles
1. Codicil owned by Mr Shard
2. Healey owned by Mr Williams
3. Rat Tail owned by Mr Minithorpe

Bridgwater Borough Members Plate over 3 miles
1. Unnamed filly by Anticipation owned by Mr King
2. Isabella owned by Mr W West
3. Rat Tail owned by Mr Minithorpe

The final meeting took place on Friday 13th May 1904.
Course today

For a brief period National Hunt racing switched to the course at Fairfield, but racing finally ceased in 1929.

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:-

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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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