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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 20th August 1828
Final meeting: Tuesday 14th August 1877
The Cheshire town and civil parish of Congleton, which lies on the River Dane, once had its own racecourse which operated for a number of years, the first 2 day meeting being held as early as Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st August 1828. The Tradesmen’s Purse was won by Nero for Mr Pickford who beat Stewardess, with the Silver Cup going to Stewardess for Mr Peover. The Silver Cup on the second day was reserved for horses belonging to Captain Antrobus’s Cheshire Yeomanry Troop and went to Lord Wellington owned by Mr Bullock. There was then a lapse until racing returned in the late 1850s. At the two day meeting on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th August 1859 the Somerford Park Stakes, named after the Park where racing was held, was won by Mr J Tittenhanger’s English Rose. Meetings under rules continued until Tuesday 14th August 1877 when the Innkeeper’s Plate finished in Court. The case concerned Namesake, owned by Mr Gerard of Preston and ridden by James Smith. The jockey was accused of cruelty in using spurs to ‘encourage’ his horse to go faster. In the end the bench was divided over his innocence or guilt, but fined him 40 shillings and £6 costs. Meetings were staged after this time, although they increasingly involved ponies, galloways and half-breds.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Antrobus, Mr J Tittenhanger, Mr Gerard
Principal Races Congleton Silver Cup, Congleton Innkeeper’s Plate, Tradesmen’s Purse

Thursday 21st August 1828
Congleton Silver Cup 3 times round
1. Lord Wellington, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Bullock
2. Peg, bay mare owned by Mr Proctor
3. Kate, chestnut mare owned by Mr Smeaton

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 14th August 1877.
Course today In the vicinity of Somerford 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.
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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