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Earliest meeting: Friday 25th April 1856
Final meeting: Friday 6th May 1870
The Vale of Wylye is in Wiltshire on the flood plain of the Rivers Avon and Wylye. The historic parish of Codford, within the Vale of Wylye close to Codford Down, has a rich history and contains the Bronze Age burial cemetery of Aston Valley Barrow Cemetery. In the middle of the 19th century races were held in the Vale of Wylye, the first of which took place on Friday 25th April 1856 on Codford Down. The races, billed as the Vale of Wylye Hunt Diversions, consisted of 3 Flat races, a Hurdle race for Hunters and a Galloway race, and were so well received that they continued to be held on the Downs under the banner of the Vale of Wylye for the next 14 years. The meeting on Wednesday 16th May 1862 was advertised as the Vale of Wylye Amateur races and 3 years later, on Friday 28th April 1865, one amateur, Mr Hussey, saw it as his benefit meeting. He won the Aston Stakes with Fairy Queen; the Upton Stakes with Corset; the Volunteer Plate with Rob Roy, and rounded off a magnificent day by landing the Warminster Plate with Fairy Queen. Meetings continued under various guises until Friday 6th May 1870, although Wylye Vale Hunt races continued as point to point races well into the 20th century.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Pembroke, Mr J A Ingram & Mr John Scott (Stewards)
Principal Races Codford Stakes, Ashton Stakes, Upton Stakes

Friday 3rd May 1867
Codford Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Fairwater, 4 year old owned by Mr Hussey
2. Blarney, 3 year old owned by Mr Henry Hussey
3. Queensland, 4 year old owned by Mr Lywood

The final meeting took place on Friday 6th May 1870.

Course today On Codford Down in the Vale of Wylye.
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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