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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 3rd August 1836
Final meeting: Wednesday 11th August 1841
Hertford, the county town of Hertfordshire, was first mentioned by Bede in 731AD when he called it Herutford, which means ford where stags are found. In the middle of the 19th century it became ford where horses are found because its first 2 day race meeting took place on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th August 1836. A packed card full of valuable races opened with the Hertford Trial Stakes over a mile which went to Tom Bleakley owned by Captain Fairlie. In the King’s Mead Stakes which followed Captain Fairlie achieved a double winning it with Spicer. A crowd of 6000 were kept in order by Sir J Sebright and his huntsmen dressed in scarlet with black velvet caps. After racing an Ordinary was served at the Saracen’s Head. Races continued to be successful for the next 5 years before a final meeting on Wednesday 11th August 1841.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Fairlie
Principal Races Panshanger Stakes, King's Mead Stakes, Hertford Cup, Ware Plate, Manor Stakes

Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th August 1836

Hertford Trial Stakes over a mile
1. Tom Beazeley owned by Captain Fairlie
2. Mozart owned by Mr Byrne
3. Menas owned by Mr Pettit

The King’s Mead Stakes over a mile
1. Spicer owned by Captain Fairlie
2. Harriet owned by Mr Hock
3. Bras de Fer owned by Mr Chase

Hertford Cup Stakes over 2 miles
1. Pincher owned by Mr Wickham
2. Ruinous owned by Mr W Smith
3. Zitella owned by Mr Crommelin

The Manor Stakes over a mile
1. Levity owned by Mr Balchin
2. Swallow owned by Mr King
3. Jenny Wren owned by Mr Bishop

Hertford Farmers Cup over a mile
1. Warwick owned by Mr Toulmin
2. Lewes Lass owned by Mr Nightingale
3. Unknown owned by Mr Anthony

The Panshanger Stakes over a mile
1. Mozart owned by Mr Byrne
2. Unnamed filly by Emilius owned by Mr Tilbrook
3. Cornet owned by Mr Bird

Wednesday 8th August 1838

The Hertfordshire Stakes over 2 miles
1. Maid of Hertford owned by Mr Cassidy
2. Surprise owned by Mr King
3. Bristolian owned by Mr Munro

The Ware Plate over 2 miles
1. Bravo owned by Mr Palmer
2. Anne owned by Mr Adams
3. Bristolian owned by Mr Munro

Hertford Cup Stakes over 2 miles
1. Bravo owned by Mr Palmer
2. Bristolian owned by Mr Munro
3. Unnamed colt by St Benjamin owned by Mr Adams

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 Wednesday 11th August 1841.
Course today The course left the town towards Ware but then turned back on itself to complete the two mile circuit back in town.
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.
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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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