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Earliest meeting: Thursday 11th March 1847
Final meeting: Thursday 11th March 1847
The Northamptonshire village of Kelmarsh lies in the Daventry district of the county, some 5 miles south of Market Harborough and only 11 miles north of Northampton. It’s most famous building is the 18th century country house of Kelmarsh Hall which was built for William Hanbury in 1732 and has glorious gardens and surrounding parkland. In the middle of the 19th century the village held its own race meeting on Thursday 11th March 1847 which was the result of a dinner at Kelmarsh Hall. The meeting was a private, aristocratic meeting with all of the neighbouring nobility and gentry invited. The race was confined to horses owned by subscribers to the local Pytchley Hounds. The course started in a large grass field at the rear of the Lamport Inn and headed in the direction of Hanging Houghton and onto the Harborough Road. There were 5 runners for the competitive 3 mile chase which was won by Mr Farquhar’s Tobacconist. There are no further records of meetings taking place in the future.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Clifden, Lord Bateman
Principal Races Kelmarsh Steeplechase

Thursday 11th March 1847
Kelmarsh Steelechase over 3 miles
1. Tobacconist, aged horse owned by Mr Farquhar
2. The Thane, aged horse owned by Lord Clifden
3. North Star, aged horse owned by Lord Bateman
4. Black Prince, aged horse owned by Mr Payne
5. Railroad, aged horse owned by Mr P Rolt

The only recorded meeting took place on Thursday 11th March 1847.

Course today A 3 mile course starting at the rear of the Lamport Inn and heading onto the Harborough Road.
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.
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  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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