LONGTOWN RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Monday 5th May 1788
Final meeting: Friday 29th April 1836
The village of Longtown, in Cumbria, today has a population of just over 3000, but in the late 1700s and early 1800s there was sufficient interest for the village to sustain a racecourse. Early records show that a 5 day meeting took place in the village from Monday 5th to Friday 9th May 1788. This meeting consisted of a number of 4 mile heats with prize money of up to £20 per heat. Meetings continued to be popular, well supported events for the next 48 years. A two day meeting was staged on Tuesday 30th April and Wednesday 1st May 1833, opening with the Sir James Graham Plate which went to Mr Heslop’s Jessy, beating Gipsy and Lady Esk. In the Stewards Sweepstakes which followed Madge Wildfire beat Queen and Buy A Broom. The last time a meeting took place in the village was on Friday 29th April 1836 when the meeting was held at Holme on the banks of the River Esk. The races were promoted and sponsored by Sir James Robert George Graham who was the local MP. He was born at Naworth in Cumberland on 1st June 1792 and became 2nd Baronet when his father, also named Sir James Graham, died. Sir James married Fanny Callander, from Craigforth, on 8th July 1819 and 10 years later he introduced The Longtown St Leger to the village. He died at Netherby in Cumberland on 25th October 1861.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Sir James Robert George Graham

Principal Races

Longtown St Leger, Border Purse

Wednesday 1st May 1833
Sir James Graham £10 Purse
1. Gipsy, chestnut mare owned by Mr Edgar
2. Jessy, chestnut mare owned by Mr Heslop
3. Lady Esk, grey filly owned by Mr Baxter

The final meeting took place on Friday 29th April 1836.
Course today At Holme on the banks of the River Esk.
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.
ORDER FORM
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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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com