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Earliest meeting: Monday 31st March 1845
Final meeting: Monday 13th April 1846

The small Gloucestershire market town of Coleford is in the west of the Forest of Dean, just 2 miles from the Welsh Border. Each Easter Monday races were held in the town, athough for the most part they were pony races or of minor significance. However, a meeting was staged on Monday 31st March 1845 when the Sweepstake was won by Mr Jackson’s Duchess, while the Hurdle race went to Coleford Lass owned by Mr James. After racing an Ordinary was held at the King’s Head. The next year the meeting took on even more significance with results posted in Bell’s Life. The card took place in grassland on the edge of the town on Easter Monday 13th April 1846, opening with the Clearwell Handicap Hurdle. After a tense battle, Mr Loveridge’s Cavalry defeated Sir Robert and Luck’s All. The Forest of Dean Stakes saw Pencraig beat Jewess and Luck’s All, while the feature race, the Coleford Stakes, was won by Mr Tyler’s Miss Bodkin. The Ordinary that year was held at the Angel in Coleford. Although races continued to be staged in later years, they were mostly for non-thoroughbreds.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr John Hankins (Steward), Mr Gunter
Principal Races Coleford Stakes, Clearwell Handicap Hurdle, Forest of Dean Stakes 

Monday 13th April 1846
Coleford Stakes
1. Miss Bodkin, chestnut mare owned by Mr Tyler
2. Brown Bess, brown mare owned by Mr Gunter
3. Wiltshire Witch, brown mare owned by Mr Jones

The final meeting took place on Monday 13th April 1846.
Course today Over grassland on the edge of the town.
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.
Download an order form
  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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