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Earliest meeting: Friday 6th April 1838
Final meeting: Tuesday 24th March 1874
The Norfolk market town of North Walsham is equidistant from Cromer and Wroxham. The first occasion when racing was reported in the town was on Friday 6th April 1838 at Mr Bidwell’s estate at Swafield. At that inaugural meeting the Suffield Silver Cup was won by Congress for Mr Sandiford, while the Town Purse went to Sir J Astley’s Gulnare. The next year there was greater coverage when the Norfolk Weekly News and Norfolk Chronicle both reported a meeting taking place on Friday 12th April 1839. At that meeting the Heavyweights Sweepstake was won by Mr Playford’s Soloman who beat Meteor and Magic, while later in the day the Lightweights Sweepstake went to Flare Up for the Hon. B Wodehouse. Racing continued intermittently over the next thirty years until a final card was staged on Tuesday 24th March 1874.

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

Sir J Astley, Lord Suffield, Captain Rous, Honorable Captain E Wodehouse

Principal Races Suffield Silver Cup, North Walsham Town Purse

Friday 6th April 1838

Suffield Silver Cup over 3 miles
1. Congress owned by Mr Sandiford and ridden by Green
2. Solomon owned by Mr Playford and ridden by Brett

North Walsham Town Purse over 3 miles
1. Gulnare owned by Sir J Astley and ridden by Brown
2. Chip owned by Mr Sandiford and ridden by Green
3. Alice Gray owned by Honorable M Sutton and ridden by Turner

Friday 12th April 1839
North Walsham Hurdle Sweepstake
1. Lady Jane, aged mare owned by Mr Land
2. Unknown, aged horse owned by Mr Bacon
3. Soloman, aged horse owned by Mr Playford

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 24th March 1874.
Course today On Mr Bidwell’s Estate at Sawfield.
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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