CHIPPENHAM RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 18th September 1764
Final meeting: Tuesday 22nd September 1857
The Wiltshire market town of Chippenham, 13 miles east of Bath, first held races as early as Tuesday 18th September 1764 when 9 contested the Plate which was won by Black Mare, owned by Mr Brooks. The next mention of races in the town was in 1803 before a further break until the two day 1808 meeting which began on Tuesday 27th September when the 3 mile Plate was won by Mr Goddard’s Bronze defeating Chaise-and One. The next day Sir H Lippincott’s Chaise-and-One gained his revenge in the 2 mile Handicap Sweepstake beating Cambrian and Ploughboy. That meeting took place on Corporation Common land; the same course was used the next year.  That meeting was a one day meeting on Tuesday 26th September 1809 when the Members Plate was won by Mr C Day’s Snowdrop, while the Chippenham £50 Plate went to Guildford owned by Mr Lucas. Although the town has existed since Roman times, it began growing when the Great Western Railway passed through the town in 1841. However, the first racecourse had long gone by then as it lasted for only 8 more years until it closed on 25th September 1816 due to the Corporation not wanting to lease its land for the purposes of racing. An attempt was made to revive the races in 1839, but the Mayor once again refused permission for Corporation land to be used for racing. Races were later revived and a meeting took place on Tuesday 18th December 1855, although the reprieve was short-lived and the final record of a meeting was on Tuesday 22nd September 1857.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord C.H.Somerset, Sir H Lippincott

Principal Races Chippenham Members Plate

Tuesday 26th September 1809

Chippenham Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Cerberus owned by Lord C.H.Somerset
2. Mountaineer owned by Mr Bouverie
3. Rumbo owned by Mr Goulburn

Chippenham Members Plate over 2 miles
1. Snowdrop owned by Mr C.Day

Chippenham £50 Plate over 2 miles
1. Guildford owned by Mr Lucas

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 22nd September 1857.

Course today On Common land owned by the Corporation.
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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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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