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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 29th August 17321
Final meeting: Tuesday 21st September 1852
The Gloucestershire town of Tewksbury, standing at the confluence of the River Severn and River Avon, can trace its history back to Saxon times. Its most famous landmark is Tewksbury Abbey, a fine Norman abbey church. The earliest record of racing in the town was in 1721 when the Stamford Mercury advertised the meeting on Tuesday 29th August 1721, details of which are shown below. However, the first time Baily’s Racing Register provided detailed results from the meeting was on Wednesday 31st August 1730, with the £30 Plate being won by Mr Coke’s Statira. The course was on the Ham, a perfectly flat area between the Mill Avon and Rivers Avon and Severn. Racing continued at irregular periods, with the Sporting Magazine first reporting results from the meeting on Thursday 20th September 1827 when Mr I Day had a particularly successful day. He won the opening Tewksbury Stakes with Liston, and towards the end of the meeting his Young Zuleika won the Ham Stakes. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 21st September 1852.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Warwick, Lord Essex, Sir J Astley
Principal Races Tewkesbury Stakes, Ladies Cup, Ham Stakes

The newspaper extract below is shown courtesy of the Stamford Mercury and British Newspaper Online.

Wednesday 31st August 1730

Tewkesbury £30 Plate
1. Statira owned by Mr Coke
2. Whynot owned by Sir J Astley
3. Cripple owned by Lord Essex

Thursday 20th September 1827

The Tewkesbury Stakes over 2 miles
1. Liston owned by Mr I Day
2. Escape owned by Mr Dilly
3. Double Entendre owned by Lord Warwick

Tewkesbury Ladies Cup over a mile
1. Palatine owned by Mr Griffiths
2. Cymon owned by Mr Brentnall

The Ham Stakes over a mile
1. Young Zuleika owned by Mr Day
2. Miss Clifton owned by Mr Howe
3. Maid of Mansfield owned by Mr Cooke

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

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 21st September 1852.
Course today

I am grateful to Evan Lewis for his comments on the course; The course was on the Ham, between the Mill Avon and Rivers Avon and Severn (so perfectly flat). An extract from a newspaper I read said about the meeting attracting thieves, pick pockets and other undesirables.

On The Ham between Mill Avon, the Severn and the Avon.

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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