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Earliest meeting: Friday 8th April 1842
Final meeting: Tuesday 6th April 1847
The Suffolk village of Lavenham lies about 5 miles north east of Sudbury on the River Brett. Before the time of William the Conqueror the village had its own Manor, and at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the estate of Lavenham was owned by Aubrey de Vere. In the middle of the 19th century the village held its own race meetings, beginning on Friday 8th April 1842. The course was in meadowland on the outskirts of the village when the feature race was the Lavenham Steeplechase. In 1845 the meeting was staged on Tuesday 8th April with the principal race won by Mr Sergeant, although the race was marred by Mr Howard, of Lavenham Hall, falling and his horse was killed as a consequence. Meetings continued for two more years until the final event took place on Tuesday 6th April 1847.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Howard of Lavenham Hall
Principal Races Lavenham Steeplechase

Tuesday 8th April 1845
Lavenham Steeplechase
1. Unnamed bay horse owned by Mr Sergeant
2. Shakkerback, aged horse owned by Mr Stutter
3. Merry Lass, aged horse owned by Mr G Manby

The final recorded meeting took place on Tuesday 6th April 1847.

Course today Across meadowland on the outskirts 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

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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