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Earliest meeting: Thursday 6th September 1753
Final meeting: Thursday 23rd January 1845
The Essex town of Romford first held a 2 day race meeting on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September 1753. On the first day the £50 Purse was won by Crab for Captain Vernon, while the following day the £50 Plate was won by Mr Stamford’s Prim. The course for these early meetings was Harroldswood Common, and such was the success of the first meeting that a two day meeting was staged the next year. On Monday 1st April 1754 the Purse was won by Little Driver for Mr Lamego, while the next day the Give and Take Handicap went to Aaron, beating Lord March’s Danbycade. Almost a century later the Sporting Magazine recorded a meeting held at Romford on Thursday 26th April 1838 on a course 3 miles outside the town centre, at Paul Barn Mead in Foxbury Wood. The organising committee had met at the Castle Tavern in Moorgate to plan the meeting. By 1840 the races were deemed to be sufficiently significant to be included in Baily's Racing Register and at the meeting on Monday 7th September 1840 the Braithwaite Silver Cup was won by Mr Kingston’s Appleton Lass. The final card took place on Thursday 23rd January 1845.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Vernon, John Braithwaite, Mr Withy
Principal Races John Braithwaite Silver Cup Stakes, Romford Stakes, Brentwood Plate, Liberty Handicap Stakes

6th September 1753

Romford £50 Purse
1. Crab, grey horse owned by Captain Vernon
2. Unnamed brown mare owned by Mr Lamego

7th September 1753

Romford £50 Plate
1. Prim, grey horse owned by Mr Stamford
2. Red Cap, chestnut horse owned by Mr Thwaites
3. Unnamed chestnut mare owned by Mr Adam

1st - 2nd April 1754

1st April 1754 Romford Fifty Pounds Purse
1. Little Driver owned by Mr Lamego
2. Wanton owned by Lord March
3. Ringwood owned by Mr Swymmer
4. Little Thought On owned by Mr Southcoate

2nd April 1754 Romford Fifty Pounds Give and Take
1. Aaron owned by Mr Rogers
2. Danbycade owned by Lord March

Thursday 26th April 1838

Romford 10 Sovereigns Sweepstake over 3 ½ miles
1. Nigger owned by Mr Elmore and ridden by Jem Mason
2. Jackey-My-Lad owned by Mr Wood and ridden by Oldaker (sic Oldacre)

Romford 3 Sovereign Sweepstake over 3 ½ miles
1. Unnamed chestnut owned by Mr Betts and ridden by Oldacre
2. Billy Cockade owned by Mr Jackson and ridden by Jem Mason

Monday 7th September 1840

The Braithwaite Silver Cup over a mile and the distance
1. Appleton Lass owned by Mr Kingston
2. Abel owned by Mr Scott
3. Jim Crow owned by Mr Curwen

Romford Purse over a mile
1. Jim Crow owned by Mr Curwen
2. Abel owned by Mr Scott
3. Discipline owned by Mr Smith

Thursday 24th to Friday 25th August 1843

The Liberty Handicap Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Hampton owned by Mr Shepherd
2. Modesty owned by Mr G Ongley
3. Ellen owned by Mr Withy

The Romford Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Unnamed gelding by Hornsea owned by Mr Plumber
2. Latona owned by Mr Cassidy
3. Pickwick owned by Mr Dockeray

The Brentwood Plate over 1 ¼ miles
1. Isabella owned by Mr Law
2. Little Dan owned by Mr Hardy
3. Solomon owned by Mr Messer

The John Braithwaite Silver Cup Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Ellen owned by Mr Withy
2. Viola owned by Mr Kimber
3. Unnamed gelding by Hornsea owned by Mr Plumber

The final meeting took place on Thursday 23rd January 1845.

Course today Early races on Harroldstown Common, and then at Paul Barn Mead in Foxbury Wood.
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

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