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Earliest meeting: Thursday 7th April 1687
Final meeting: Monday 17th May 1880
The West Oxfordshire market town of Chipping Norton is set in the glorious Cotswold Hills and first held races in 1687. The town is some 18 miles north west of the city of Oxford and can boast a history dating back to the Saxons and beyond. The London Gazette of 27th to 31st January 1687 advertised a meeting on "Thursday, in Easter-week next, a Gold Plate of the value of 40 guineas will be Run for at the Heath near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. The Horses are to carry 12 stone, and Run Three Heats, and no Horse is to run that ever one (sic) a Plate. The Articles are to be seen at the White Horse in Chipping Norton." Half a century later Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Chipping Norton in 1734 when the main prize at a meeting held on Friday 10th September went to the wonderfully named Cinder-Wench. After that meeting the series of races continued to be two day meetings held annually until 1753. In that year, such was the popularity of the meeting that it extended to become a three day meeting. By 1754, when Chipping Norton reached its heyday, the town held two meetings a year, each of either 2 or 3 days racing per meeting. It is thought that the meetings were held in Over Norton Park, which was the property of the Dawkins family, although on occasions Heythrop Park might have acted as the venue for the meeting. In 1841 the town of Chipping Norton celebrated a racing high when the Derby winner Coronation was bred by Abraham Rawlinson just outside of the town at Chadlington. Many of his preparatory gallops were on Heythrop Park and a full peal of bells was rung in the town to celebrate the event. The meeting on Thursday 3rd April 1845 proved to be very successful for Mr Symonds, winning the valuable sponsored Lord Redesdale’s Hunt Race with Novelist, and completing the double when his The Brick beat The Sportsman and Tom Beale in the Chipping Norton Stakes. The final meeting took place on Monday 17th May 1880.

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

Duke of Bridgewater, Lord Redesdale, Abraham Rawlinson

Principal Races Lord Redesdale’s Hunt Race, Chipping Norton Stakes

Friday 10th September 1734

Chipping Norton 30 Guineas Prize
1. Cinder-Wench owned by Mr Tuting
2. Foxhunter owned by Mr Howe
3. Bob owned by The Duke of Bridgewater
4. Salisbury Steeple owned by Mr Green

Racing continued at Chipping Norton throughout the mid-1800s, with results being widely reported in Sporting Magazines and Racing Calendars from 1850 onwards.

The final meeting took place on Monday 17th May 1880
Course today Initially in Over Norton Park and latterly on Heythrop Park.
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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