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Earliest meeting: September 1869
Final meeting: Thursday 13th September 1877
The small Devon market town of South Molton, on the River Mole, is most famous as the town where Sir John Penruddock was captured by the New Model Army on 14th March 1655. Over 2 centuries later the town was staging steeplechase meetings, the first of which took place in September 1869. There was then a lapse of 8 years before a meeting was staged on Thursday 13th September 1877 on the Kingsland Barton Estate by permission of owner Mr William Buckwell. Over 3000 people witnessed Mr W H Westacott’s Bird on the Wing land the opening Ladies Plate, while the Town Plate was won by Mr G Moore’s Shah. After the feature steeplechase had been captured by Mr Courtney’s Little Fairy, the concluding Sweepstakes was won by Mr J Allen’s Marquis. Meetings continued after this date but cards increasingly included pony races.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr William Buckwell, Mr E Furse (Mayor), Mr R M Riccard & Captain Williams (Stewards)
Principal Races South Molton Steeplechase, Town Plate, Ladies Plate

Thursday 13th September 1877
South Molton Open Steeplechase over 2 miles
1. Little Fairy, aged mare owned by Mr Courtney
2. Village Lass, aged mare owned by Mr Shilston
3. Black Bess, aged mare owned by Mr William Preston

The final meeting took place on Thursday 13th September 1877.
Course today On the Kingsland Barton Estate.
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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  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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