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Earliest meeting: Saturday 6th June 1751
Final meeting: Tuesday 28th April 1863
The Suffolk county town of Bury St Edmunds boasts the Cathedral of St Edmundsbury, and has a long, illustrious history having originally been called Beodericsworth. Today it has a population in excess of 35,000 and is renowned for its excellent beer produced by Greene King. Maybe that tradition is upholding the skills shown by the former inhabitants of Bury St Edmunds Abbey and its monastery founded in about 633. The Abbey later played a prominent part in English history in 1214 when the Barons of England met there to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties specified in the Magna Carta. The Racing Calendar of 1751, which was undertaken by Reginald Heber following the death of John Cheney who had initiated the project many years earlier, recorded that a 3-day meeting took place at Bury from 6th to 8th June 1751 when the first £50 Purse was won by Fury for Hon. Mr Butler, while the next day the second £50 Purse went to Mr Josiah Marshall with Sweet Lips. Racing continued infrequently at the same course before transferring to nearby Rougham, some 3 miles East of Bury, in 1862 and lasted at that venue for a further year before racing ceased altogether at Bury. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 28th April 1863.

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

Local Patrons Honourable Mr Butler, Josiah Marshall
Principal Races Bury £50 Purse

Sunday 6th to Tuesday 8th June 1751

Bury £50 Purse over 4 miles
1. Fury owned by The Honourable Mr Butler
2. Mouse owned by Mr Croft
3. Yellow Jack owned by Mr William Croft

Bury Second £50 Purse over 4 miles
1. Sweet Lips owned by Mr Josiah Marshall
2. Silver Sides owned by Mr Tuting
3. Gipsey owned by Mr Wright

The meeting transferred to nearby Rougham, some 3 miles East of Bury, in 1862 and lasted for a further year before racing ceased at Bury. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 28th April 1863.

Course today

The land on which the racecourse stood became an airport in September 1942 for use in the Second World War. By 1948 the airport was closed by the Ministry of Defence and returned to private hands. Today part of the land is still a private airfield, although it is also used for events such as Fairs and Car Boot sales, with the remainder of the land now used for agriculture.

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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