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Earliest meeting: Monday 25th August 1817
Final meeting: Friday 5th September 1828
The town of Tenterden is in the Ashford district of Kent on the edge of the forest area called ‘The Weald’. Famously it was one of the original Cinque Ports, although today it would be impossible to get large vessels close to the town.  The town has a rich history and can trace settlements back to the 14th century when the local industry was wool. The first race meeting, a 3 race card, was staged on Monday 25th August 1817 when the Town Plate was won by Sir John Honywood’s Barley-Corn defeating Clinker and Canopus.  However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest meetings took place before 1817, some of which is shown below. Three years later, on Wednesday 30th August 1820 Sir John’s Benedick had to play second fiddle to Mr Brown’s Marksman in the Town Plate. Racing continued to be well supported annually and the meeting on Friday 7th September 1827 saw an immense crowd witness the Town Purse go to Mr Bennett’s Pat, while the concluding Rye Plate fell to Mr Coleman’s Honeysuckle. The final report of a meeting was on Friday 5th September 1828 when the Town Plate was won by Mr Coleman’s 3 year old delightfully named Sally of the Valley.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir J Honywood, Mr E F Meynell, Thomas Weston, Samuel Croughton, John D Pomfret, Edward Witts, William Longley
Principal Races Town Plate, Town Purse, Rye Plate, Tenterden Ladies Plate
Although the earliest set of results which were published for Tenterden Races was in 1817, I am grateful to Michael Davis for the extracts from the Kentish Gazette shown below. However, neither the Racing Calendar of 1812 or 1813, or Bailys Racing Calendar, or any newspaper of the day reported results from the meetings, so it might not have taken place. Without doubt Tenterden had a racecourse in 1813 as indicated in the other article shown below.

Thursday 30th August 1821

Tenterden Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Gift, a grey filly owned by Mr Brown
2. Enchantress, a bay mare owned by Sir J Honywood
3. Mrs Bang, a bay filly owned by Mr Scaith

Tenterden Sweepstakes for non-thoroughbreds over 2 miles
1. Waxlight, a chestnut colt owned by Mr E F Meynell
2. Rosebud, a chestnut mare owned by Mr Croughton

Tenterden Town Plate over 3 miles
1. Tempest, a grey horse owned by Mr Ryan
2. Muslin, a bay filly owned by Mr E F Meynell
3. Merrymaid, a grey filly owned by Sir J Honywood

Friday 7th September 1827

Tenterden Town Purse over 2 miles
1. Pat owned by Mr Bennett
2. Flamingo owned by Mr Coleman
3. Duchess owned by Mr Fuller

Rye Plate over 3 miles
1. Honeysuckle owned by Mr Coleman
2. Maid of Kent owned by Mr Brown
3. Maid of Sussex owned by Mr Maplesden

Friday 5th September 1828
Tenterden Town Plate
1. Sally of the Valley, 3 year old owned by Mr Coleman
2. Hawk’s-eye, 4 year old owned by Mr Kettel
3. Come by Chance, 6 year old owned by Mr Howard

The meeting held on Friday 5th September 1828 proved to be the last held in the town.

Course today Across 4 fields on the outer edge of the town.
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

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