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Earliest meeting: Monday 27th July 1874
Final meeting: Tuesday 27th February 1877
The village and civil parish of Greatham in County Durham first held races in 1874. The village is situated some 3 miles south of Hartlepool and benefitted from the closure of Hartlepool Racecourse in 1863. It was in 1874 that some keen racing enthusiasts, many of them members of South Durham Hunt Committee, met at a West Hartlepool hotel to propose the idea of a West Hartlepool and Greatham Steeplechase meeting. That first meeting was held on Monday 27th July 1874 when the unfortunately named Rather Slow won the feature Atlantic Stakes. The course was laid out in meadowland owned by Mr Dacre and located midway between Greatham and Seaton, just 3 miles from West Hartlepool. However, by 1876 the number of entries and quality of racing decreased, although Trumpeter won the feature race. Racing was short-lived and the final meeting took place on Tuesday 27th February 1877 with Carbineer winning the Greatham Stakes.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr R Rodley, Mr W Hall, Mr R I Robson, Mr Elstob & Mr E Parkin (Stewards)
Principal Races Greatham Stakes, South Durham & Cleveland Stakes

February 1876

South Durham & Cleveland Stakes
1. Trumpeter owned by Mr W Hall and ridden by W Humble
2. Orangeman owned by Mr R I Robson ridden by Bob Ayre
3. Carbineer ridden by Harry Adams

Tuesday 27th February 1877

Greatham Stakes
1. Carbineer ridden by Gilroy
2. Adelais owned by Mr R Rodley and ridden by Jim Adams
Adelais was first past the post winning by 4 lengths, but was disqualified.

John Cary (1754-1835) was an English cartographer who published his atlas, The New and Correct English Atlas, in 1787. In 1794 he was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey all English roads. The map shown below is an extract from his 1794 work.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 27th February 1877.
Course today In meadowland midway between Seaton and Greatham.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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