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Earliest meeting: Monday 19th June 1837
Final meeting: Wednesday 25th July 1866
Downham Market is a market town in Norfolk which first held racing in 1837. The racecourse, an oval with circumference of one mile, was on Crowe Hall Park and the meeting was staged on Monday 19th June 1837. Racing continued annually for each of the next nine years. The Norfolk Weekly News and Norwich Chronicle reported a meeting on Wednesday 22nd June 1842 when the card consisted of a Ladies Plate, the Downham Plate, the Park Plate, a Maiden Plate and the Hack Stakes. Although meetings then ceased, a prolonged spell of racing took place for 12 years starting in 1854 and ending on Wednesday 25th July 1866.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons West Norfolk Hunt, Mr Green, Mr Sparrow, Mr Weston
Principal Races Downham Stakes, East Anglian Plate, West Norfolk Handicap, Markham Stakes, Scurry Handicap, Downham Ladies Plate, Hunters Stakes

Wednesday 1st August 1855

The Downham Stakes over 2 miles
1. Little Jack owned by Mr Smith
2. Tomyris owned by Mr Green
3. Ada owned by Mr Eden

The Hunters Stakes over 2 miles and hurdles
1. The Hawk owned by Mr Wigram

Downham Ladies Plate over 2 miles
1. Tomyris owned by Mr Green
2. Happy Go Lucky owned by Mr Bridges
3. Little Jack owned by Mr Smith

The East Anglian Plate over 2 miles
1. Don Pedro owned by Mr Sare

Wednesday 25th July 1866

The West Norfolk Handicap over 1 ½ miles
1. Shakespeare owned by Mr Weston
2. Simonette owned by Mr Sparrow

The Marham Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Shakespeare owned by Mr Weston
2. Speculation

The Scurry Handicap over 6 furlongs
1. Shakespeare owned by Mr Weston
2. Simonette owned by Mr Sparrow

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 25th July 1866 and details from that meeting are shown above.
Course today An oval one mile course at Crowe Hall 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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