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Earliest meeting: May 1728
Final meeting: Wednesday 14th May 1845
The earliest recorded races taking place at Great Neston, on the Wirral peninsula, were in May 1728 and coincided with the annual Spring Fair. At that time in history Great Neston was a township in Neston with a population of less than 2000. An advert still survives which broadcast the races that took place during the Whit weekend in 1765. On Monday 27th May 1765 a £50 Weight for Age Purse was contested, with a similar contest taking place on Tuesday 28th May 1765. Entries had to be made at the Golden Lion and, as was customary in that day and age, Ordinaries and a Ball took place at the same establishment on each of the race days. Racing continued intermittently for almost a century in the vicinity of Great Neston, although sometimes the meetings were billed as Neston, or Parkgate, or eventually Wirral Hunt Steeplechases. A two day meeting on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June 1829 saw the Mostyn Annual Cup claimed by Mr Davies’s Matchless who beat Active, while the prestigious Wirral Cup was won by Julie for Mr Herbert. A 3 day meeting took place from Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th June 1840 when Sir W M Stanley acted as Steward, and a similar 3 day meeting from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th June 1843 featured the Hooton Stakes which went to Mr Grace’s Mystery. The racecourse was situated at Windle Hill, to the North of Neston, close to what later became Hinderton Hall. Racing continued under the banner of Great Neston until 1845, and later became known as Parkgate races. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 14th May 1845.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Fowler, Mr W Court, Mr Norman (Stewards)
Principal Races Wirral Hurdle, Neston Trade Cup

Monday 5th June to Wednesday 7th June 1843

The Wirral Hurdle over 2 miles and 6 hurdles
1. St Valentine owned by Mr Fowler

The Neston Trade Cup over 2 miles
1. Bedalian owned by Mr W Court
2. The Doctor owned by Mr Norman

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 14th May 1845.
Course today On Windle Hill to the north of Neston.
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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