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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 14th April 1852
Final meeting: Wednesday 9th April 1856
The County Durham mining village of Tanfield lies close to Stanley and can trace its history back to 1179 when it was known as Tamefield. It held its own series of race meetings in the mid-1800s, the first taking place on Wednesday 14th April 1852 on five fields on the outside of the village. The opening North of England Steeplechase went to Little Jessie who beat Snap, while the feature Tanfield Steeplechase was won by Gulnare. Meetings continued annually on the same course for the next 4 years and each meeting started with the North of England Steeplechase, and each year, apart from 1853, it was won by Little Jessie. The final meeting was staged on Wednesday 9th April 1856 on a miserable day with such heavy going that 2 of the fields could not be used and the course had to deviate. Once again the opening North of England Chase was capturd by Little Jessie, winning 4 of the 5 occasions it was contested, and the final Tanfield Steeplechase went to the Mr Dunlop’s The Pretender.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Lane, Mr William Robson (owner of Little Jessie)
Principal Races Tanfield Steeplechase, North of England Steeplechase

Wednesday 11th April 1855
Tanfield Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Michael, aged horse owned by Captain Lane
2. Heather Jock, aged horse owned by Mr Golightly
3. Lady Mowbray, 5 year old owned by Mr W Robson

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 9th April 1856.

Course today Across 5 fields on the outer edge of the village.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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