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Earliest meeting: Thursday 29th June 1727
Final meeting: Tuesday 5th November 1901
The earliest record of racing in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham was a single day meeting on Thursday 29th June 1727. A more prolonged period of racing began in 1823 when the course was situated opposite what is now Rotherham Cricket Club. The course was in Wellgate, at the apex of Broom Road and Moorgate Road, hosting Flat racing for the final time on Thursday 13th September 1832. A second course in the vicinity of Rotherham opened in 1866 at East Dene with entry roads on Middle Lane, Badsley Moor Lane and Doncaster Road. At the inaugural meeting on Thursday 26th April 1866 there was an immense influx of 15,000 people due in part to cheap train excursions from Sheffield and Derby. The opening United Hunt Stakes went to Doctor, owned by Mr Stubb, while the closing Scurry Stakes was won by Mr Wilkinson’s Slasher. This course continued to operate for 8 years before closing on 25th April 1874. Later the Sheffield and Rotherham course first opened for business in 1889 at Wellgate, behind the Cricket Ground, staging its last meeting on Tuesday 5th November 1901.

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

Colonel Wortley, Lord Fitzwilliam, Sir J Byng

Principal Races Broomhill Stakes, Gold Cup, Innkeepers’ Steeplechase

Wednesday 15th September to Thursday 16th September 1824

South West Yorkshire Challenge Stakes over a mile
1. Woodpecker owned by Mr Brown
2. Village Girl owned by Mr Garland

Broomhill Stakes over 2 miles
1. Creeping Jane owned by Mr Goodbran
2. Collina owned by Mr Hopkinson
3. Woodpecker owned by Mr Brown

Rotherham Gold Cup over 2 miles
1. Leonella owned by Lord Fitzwilliam
2. Bugle owned by Mr H B Peters
3. Edward owned by Sir J Byng

Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th September 1827

Rotherham Silver Tureen over 2 miles
1. Brother to Hexgrave owned by Mr Millward
2. Harriet owned by Mr Hopkinson
3. Limestone owned by Mr Long

Sheffield Purse over 2 miles
1. Unnamed filly by Whisker owned by Mr Jaddiss
2. Beggar Boy owned by Lord Fitzwilliam
3. Bhurtpore owned by Mr Houldsworth

South West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry Stakes over a mile
1. Hexgrave owned by Mr Brown
2. Hurricane owned by Mr R Haywood
3. Elizabeth owned by Mr Kirk

Rotherham Plate over 2 miles
1. Dinah owned by Lord Fitzwilliam
2. Soldam owned by Mr W Fox

Thursday 26th April 1866
Innkeepers’ Plate
1. Avongrove, aged horse owned by Mr J Wilkinson
2. Marnham, 5 year old owned by Mr Deakin
3. Raby, aged horse owned by Mr Simpson
Betting: 4/5 Raby, 3/1 Marnham, 6/1 Avongrove

The Sheffield and Rotherham course first opened in 1889 at Wellgate, behind the Cricket Ground. It held its last meeting on 5th November 1901.

Course today

Initially at the Cricket Ground, followed by East Dene and finally at Wellgate.

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:-

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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  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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