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Earliest meeting: Thursday 17th March 1836
Final meeting: Thursday 13th April 1843
The strategically important Kent town of Dartford lies on the River Darent and has been a market town since medieval times. It is steeped in history and can trace back to Swanscombe Man, but there is also evidence of settlements in the area in the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. It gained even more prominence in Roman times when the great Roman Road of Watling Street, extending from Dover to London, passed through Dartford. The town was also mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 when Dartford Manor was owned by the King. In more recent times in the middle of the 19th century the town held its own race meetings, initially on Thursday 17th March 1836 when a 4 mile steeplechase was held across fair hunting country. However, a better attended meeting was held on Thursday 13th April 1843 when the Surrey Hunt Group organised a steeplechase event. The course, located 3 miles from Dartford, started in a field owned by Mr Wilks near Sutton, proceeded to a turning flag at the Fighting Cocks at Horton Kirby and crossed Frog’s Lane towards Dartford. The event was won by Snowdrop owned by Mr R Griffiths. After racing an Ordinary was served at the Black Bull Inn in Dartford. A number of other meetings, both before and after this event, were held in the vicinity of Dartford but were billed as Farningham and Dartford Races.

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

Surrey Hunt Group, Mr John Castendieck (Steward)

Principal Races Dartford Sweepstake

Thursday 13th April 1843
Dartford Sweepstake over 4 ½ miles
1. Snowdrop, grey mare owned by Mr R Griffiths
2. The Count, bay gelding owned by Mr G Brettle
3. Commodore, chestnut gelding owned by Mr J Castendieck

The only recorded meeting took place on Thursday 13th April 1843.

Course today Approximately 3 miles from Dartford, starting at Sutton and extending to the Fighting Cocks at Horton Kirby.
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.
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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com