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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 20th April 1842
Final meeting: Tuesday 31st December 1844
The Norfolk parish of Hardingham falls in the district of Breckland, located 15 miles from Norwich. It has a small population of less than 300 but has its own railway station on the Mid-Norfolk line. Back in the mid-1800s the village boasted its own racecourse, with the first meeting staged on Wednesday 20th April 1842. The 5 race card took place in fields just on the outskirts of the village and opened with a Sweepstake sponsored by the ladies of the village. It was won by Mr Hodgson’s All Right. The Frankton Stakes over 2 miles followed and went to Mr Kent’s Adrian from Tartar. After the principal Hardingham Stakes had been claimed by Victoria, the Silver Cup was won by Ellen Fitzherbert for Mr Mann, beating Perrywinkle and Deceiver. The final Sweepstake saw a good tussle between Adrian and Grimaldi before the former prevailed. Racing continued for 2 more years before the final card took place on Tuesday 31st December 1844. However, a match was staged on Tuesday 1st January 1845 over a 3 mile course in the vicinity of the parish when Mr Parker’s Discipline beat Mr French’s Bravo.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Pritchard, Mr Freeman, Mr Hodgson
Principal Races Hardingham Stakes, Hardingham Silver Cup, Hardingham Ladies Sweepstake

Wednesday 20th April 1842
Hardingham Stakes over 2 miles
1. Victoria, bay mare owned by Mr Freeman
2. Sportsman, grey gelding owned by Mr Maycock
3. Lady Gray, aged mare owned by Mr Chamberlayne

The only recorded meeting took place on Tuesday 31st December 1844.

Course today Across 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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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