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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 16th September 1863
Final meeting: Thursday 9th September 1869
The Devon town of Modbury lies in the South Hams district of the county and is ideally located on the road linking Plymouth with Kingsbridge. Back in the 12th century it was the home and seat of the Fortescue family and a direct living descendent is Earl Fortescue. The most prominent, historical building in the town is Whympston which is the old Manor. On Wednesday 16th September 1863 the town held its inaugural race meeting at Langston, about 2 miles out of town on the Bigbury Road. The meeting opened with a Ladies Plate over 1 ½ miles, which went to Mr Dickson’s Pick-me-Up, while the concluding race was the Yeomanry Chase won by Mr Gilbert’s Topsy, and throughout the meeting the crowd were entertained by the Band of the Fourth Devon Mounted Rifles. Meetings continued for the next 6 years, although the quality was reduced, until a final 2 day meeting under rules on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th September 1869.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Mr John Dawson & Mr Nicholas Pitts (Stewards)

Principal Races Modbury Yeomanry Steeplechase, Langston Chase, South Hams Chase

Wednesday 16th September 1863
Langston Steeplechase over 2 ½ miles
1. King of Trumps, aged horse owned by Mr Barrett
2. Flying Dutchman, aged horse owned by Mr Soaper
3. Candover, aged horse owned by Mr Barrett

The only recorded meeting took place on Thursday 9th September 1869.

Course today At Langston, 2 miles from the town, on the Bigbury 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.
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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