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Earliest meeting: Friday 24th September 1734
Final meeting: Wednesday 4th October 1876
Baily’s Racing Register recorded a three day meeting taking place at the Gloucestershire county town of Gloucester, starting on Friday 24th September 1734. The course, an oblong of about a mile and a half around, with a straight run in of 2 furlongs, was laid out in a meadow near the River Severn. The meeting opened with a £50 Purse which went to White Stockings for Mr Major, beating Lord Portmore’s Mouse and Lord Weymouth’s Whittington. Later in the week the £30 Purse was won by the Duke of Ancaster’s Crab. Races continued to be staged on a regular basis and the two day meeting on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September 1833 proved to be beneficial for Mr I Day. His colt Little Boy Blue was runner-up in the Gloucester Stakes before getting his head in front in the Berkeley Stakes over 2 miles, while his gelding Liston captured the Beaufort Stakes to crown a good meeting. Racing lapsed after the 1842 meeting and was not re-introduced until October 1861 when the Badminton Stakes went to Violet, while the Gloucestershire Handicap, over a mile, saw Mr T Bell’s Gleam beat Lord Coventry’s Flitch. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 4th October 1876.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Ancaster, Lord Portmore, Lord Weymouth, Sir A Hasilrigg, Captain Berkeley
Principal Races Gloucester Stakes, Berkeley Stakes, Welter Stakes, Beaufort Stakes

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September 1734

Gloucester £50 Purse
1. Whitestockings owned by Mr Major
2. Mouse owned by Lord Portmore
3. Whittington owned by Lord Weymouth

Gloucester £30 Purse
1. Crab owned by The Duke of Ancaster
2. Ringtail owned by Sir A Hasilrigg
3. Dunkirk owned by Lord Portmore

Wednesday 18th to Thursday 19th September 1833

Gloucester Stakes over 2 miles
1. Harry owned by Mr Thornes
2. Little Boy Blue owned by Mr I Day
3. Changeling owned by Mr Peel

The Berkeley Stakes over 2 miles
1. Little Boy Blue owned by Mr I Day
2. Sinbad owned by Mr Crommelin

The Beaufort Stakes over a mile
1. Liston owned by Mr I Day
2. Trouville owned by Mr Thompson
3. Uncle Toby owned by Mr Peel

Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd July 1835

The Gloucester Stakes over 2 miles
1. Paris owned by Captain Berkeley
2. Carnaby owned by Mr S Herbert

The Berkeley Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Gab owned by Mr I Day
2. Haldon owned by Mr Whalley
3. Worcester owned by Mr Thorne

The Welter Stakes over a mile
1. Challenger owned by Mr Hobson
2. Cyclops owned by Mr Ody
3. Changeling owned by Mr H Peel

James Whyte’s History of the British Turf notes that Gloucester racecourse is situated in a meadow on the banks of the River Severn and records the 1839 races as two small Stakes races on just one day, having in previous years extended over 3 days.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 4th October 1876
Course today

I am grateful to Evan Lewis for his comments on the course; The old "Gloucester racecourse" was located where the Maisemore point to point course is located now. The course description is very much like the current point - point course (but substitute "oval" for "oblong"). The report of the meeting said it was a massive crowd and that the course was superior to Cheltenham.

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

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