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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 23rd January 1849
Final meeting: Saturday 28th March 1857
The small West Oxfordshire town of Charlbury lies in the Evenlode valley some 6 miles north of Witney. It benefits from a number of important houses and parks nearby, including Lee Place which is the current home of the Duchess of Marlborough and was once the Dower House of Ditchley. The town once held its own races in the mid-1800s, in the vicinity of Cornbury Park which is now owned by Lord Rotherwick. Although races were part of an annual celebration prior to 1849, races did take place on Tuesday 23rd January 1849 when the main 3 mile Sweepstake was won by Mr W W Holloway’s Cerito, defeating Captain Holloway’s Regalia.  On Tuesday 18th March 1851 a meeting was staged on a 4 mile steeplechase course which started at Spelsbury Church, progressed towards Dean Grove via a brook, and after crossing the Charlbury Road finished in Dean Grove. The Opening Aristocratic Stakes was won by Captain Miven’s Tough Tom, while the feature Charlbury Stakes was won by Snow Ball. The concluding Forest Stakes went to Mr G Symond’s Parson’s Daughter. Meetings continued annually until a final card took place on Saturday 28th March 1857.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Mivens, Mr H W Lindow & Mr W J Lawson (Stewards)
Principal Races Charlsbury Stakes, Forest Stakes, Aristocratic Stakes

Tuesday 18th March 1851
Charlbury Stakes over 2 miles
1. Snow Ball, aged horse owned by Mr Hurlock
2. Midnight, aged horse owned by Mr Wood
3. Beauty, aged mare owned by Mr Dun

The final meeting took place on Saturday 28th March 1857.

Course today A 4 mile course starting at Spelsbury Church and finishing at Dean Grove.
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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