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Earliest meeting: Monday 8th June 1840
Final meeting: Saturday 18th April 1896
The small Cheshire residential town of Neston once had its own racecourse which held its inaugural three day meeting from Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th June 1840 when Sir W M Stanley was Steward. Racing had taken place in the vicinity of the town since May 1728 when meetings were billed as Great Neston, and races also took place as early as 1829 at neighbouring Parkgate. The town is situated close to Chester, which is much more widely known as a racing city. A second 3 day meeting in Neston took place from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th June 1843 when the Hooton Stakes was won by Mr Grace’s Mystery, but it was a further two years before the final meeting was held on Wednesday 14th May 1845. Although this was the last meeting to be billed as Neston, the town joined forces with nearby Parkgate in the latter part of the 19th century to jointly host races administered by the Wirral Hunt Committee. These races began on Saturday 9th April 1881 on Mr J J Houghton’s estate in Parkgate, and continued until the final meeting on Saturday 18th April 1896. The Wirral Hunt Steeplechase was won by Mr T Johnson’s Sir Harry, while all 3 places in the Wirral Farmers Chase were filled by horses owned by Mr T Johnson.

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

Mr J J Houghton, Mr H Nicholson, Mr W Downs (Stewards)

Principal Races

Wirral Open Chase, Wirral Hunt Steeplechase, Wirral Hunt Members Chase

Saturday 22nd April 1882
Wirral Open Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Bouncer, 5 year old owned by Mr E J Thornewill
2. Surprise, 6 year old owned by Mr R P Wilson
3. Ranchero, 4 year old owned by Mr O H Jones
Betting: Evens Bouncer, 5/2 Rancherro, 4/1 Surprise

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Saturday 18th April 1896.
Course today Initially near Leighton Hall, Neston and towards the end of the 19th century steeplechases were run at Parkgate.
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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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    
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