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STIRLING 1598 - 1854
Earliest meeting: 1598
Final meeting: Thursday 12th October 1854

The earliest record of racing in Stirling was in 1598 on a river meadow known as the Bridgehaugh, although there then appears to have been a gap for over 30 years, as the next time a meeting was recorded was in 1631 when the meeting was sponsored by Stirling Town Council. However, it was a further 30 years before races were yet again revived in 1664 when the Town Council introduced the Stirling Silver Cup, continuing in 1665.  Meetings lapsed for 8 years before racing took place for a prolonged period from 1673. James Whyte’s History of the British Turf noted that racing took place at Stirling on King’s Park, near the River Forth, when a three day meeting was staged between Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th October 1805. The racecourse was an unusual oblong shape of 11 furlongs and 140 yards, with a sprint course of 4 furlongs which joined the main course, and there was a hill three furlongs from the winning post. The Stirling Open Purse, over 4 miles, went to Lord Belhaven’s Lady Mary, while the Subscription Purse saw Sir A Don’s Precipitate colt beat Mr Kincaid’s Overton gelding. The Stirling Gold Cup was always the principal event at the track and in August 1846 it was won by Lord Eglinton’s Plaudit after a good battle with John Harris. In 1850 William Ramsay of Barnton, the principal supporter of the course, died leaving a gap which no other local, wealthy individuals chose to fill. The final meeting took place on Thursday 12th October 1854 when organised by the Caledonian Hunt Club. It was completely dominated by one horse, The Wild Hunstman owned by James Merry, who won the Trial Stakes over a mile; the Caledonian St Leger; a match against Alston over 6 furlongs; the Caledonian Cup over 3 miles, and to cap it all he won Her Majesty’s Plate over 4 miles on the final day.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Dalmeny, Honorable G R Abercromby, Sir A Don, Lord Belhaven, Duke of Montrose, Lord Eglinton, Lord Glenlyon

Principal Races Stirling Gold Cup, Buchanan Stakes, Falkirk Stakes, Forth Stakes, Glasgow Cup, Abercromby Members' Plate

Tuesday 8th to Thursday 10th October 1805

Stirling Open Purse over 4 miles
1. Lady Mary owned by Lord Belhaven
2. Unnamed colt by Precipitate owned by Sir A Don

Stirling Subscription Purse over 4 miles
1. Unnamed colt by Precipitate owned by Sir A Don
2. Unnamed gelding by Overton owned by Mr Kincaid

Thursday 27th & Friday 28th August 1846

The Stirling Gold Cup over 2 miles
1. Plaudit owned by Lord Eglinton
2. John Harris owned by Mr Merry
3. Inglewood owned by Mr W R Ramsey

The Buchanan Stakes over a mile sponsored by the Duke of Montrose
1. Inglewood owned by Mr W R Ramsay
2. Pilot owned by Mr Merry
3. Unnamed filly by Verulam owned by Mr Dawson

The Burgh Stakes over 2 miles sponsored by Lord Dalmeny
1. Tom Tough owned by Mr Robertson
2. Snake owned by Mr W Hope Johnstone
3. Malcolm owned by Mr W R Ramsay

The Falkirk Stakes over a mile
1. Lycurgus owned by Lord Glenlyon
2. Unnamed filly by The Doctor owned by Mr J Kennedy
3. Lillie Adie owned by Mr D Wilson

The St Ninans Free Handicap over a mile
1. Lycurgus owned by Lord Glenlyon
2. Mesmeria owned by Mr D Wilson
3. Midlothian owned by Mr Ramsay

The Sanchie Stakes over a mile
1. Surety owned by Mr A Cook
2. Badinage owned by Mr Merry
3. Mesmeria owned by Mr D Wilson

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

The final meeting took place on Thursday 12th October 1854.
Course today An unusual oblong shaped course of 11 furlongs located on King’s Park.
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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