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Earliest meeting: Thursday 22nd October 1868
Final meeting: Thursday 11th May 1871
The village of Gilsland, in the old county of Cumberland, is situated some 32 kilometres west of Hexham and had its own racecourse for 4 years in the late 19th century. The village straddles the border between Northumberland and Cumbria and is an ideal tourist centre for those wishing to see Hadrians Wall. The first meeting took place on Thursday 22nd October 1868 and featured the Gilsland Cup over 3 miles which was won by White Socks. The final 2 day meeting was organised by Mr Jas. Gelderd of the Shaws Hotel, and took place on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th May 1871 when the principal race, the Hunt Cup, was won by Mr Lambert’s Mariner.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Jas. Gelderd, Mr N Grace & Bentinck Martin (Stewards)
Principal Races Gilsland Cup, Hunters Stakes

Thursday 22nd October 1868
Gilsland Hunters Cup over 3 miles
1. White Socks, aged horse owned by Mr Hepple
2. Harkaway, aged horse owned by Mr Lambert
3. Minna, 5 year old owned by Mr Brown

The final meeting took place on Thursday 11th May 1871.
Course today In grass fields on the edge of the village.
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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