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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 19th September 1827
Final meeting: Friday 26th August 1881
The earliest records show that meetings took place on the Buckland Bottom course in Dover from 1827 through to 1836 in an unbroken spell of racing. The course, an oblong with perimeter just short of 9 furlongs, dipped on each of the long sides and had a straight run in of just over 2 furlongs. The ‘History of Kent’ recorded that the races were originally held near the town beyond Dover Castle and welcomed some prominent visitors to the races, including Lord Palmerston and the Earl Granville. However, the races then moved to Waldershare Park, owned by the Earl of Guildford. The new course was vastly superior to the town centre course except that it was a good distance from the town centre and therefore inaccessible to the masses. The meeting eventually suffered from the introduction, by the Jockey Club, of the rule which raised the added money for prizes to £300 per day, of which at least £150 had to be given to a race of a mile and upwards. The final meeting took place on Friday 26th August 1881.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Palmerston, Earl of Guildford, Mr Leith, Mr Austen, Mr Coleman
Principal Races Dover Town Plate, Dover Hunters Stakes, Members Purse, Town & Visitors Plate

Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th September 1827

Dover Members Purse over 2 miles
1. Roswal owned by Mr Dickinson
2. Kent owned by Mr Howard
3. Honeysuckle owned by Mr C Wright

Dover Town & Visitors Plate over 2 miles
1. Tom Thumb owned by Mr Brown
2. Roswal owned by Mr Dickinson
3. Wildgoose owned by Mr Kennett

Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd September 1836

T M Fector Plate over 2 miles
1. Robin Hood owned by Mr Leith
2. Fanny owned by Mr Coleman
3. Lady Jane owned by Mr Austen

Dover Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Bodice owned by Mr Lond
2. Old Park owned by Mr Godsmark
3. Grey Dwarf owned by Mr Damant

Dover Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Lady Graham owned by Mr Dawson
2. Yeoman owned by Mr White
3. Paddy owned by Mr Leith

The final meeting took place on Friday 26th August 1881.
Course today Initially on Buckland Bottom, then close to Dover Castle and finally at Waldershare 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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