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Earliest meeting: Monday 13th April 1840
Final meeting: Wednesday 14th April 1869
The Northamptonshire town of Thrapston lies close to the River Nene and has had a market for at least 800 years. It is located near to Kettering and at one point in time it had two railway stations. Racing is reported to have first been staged as early as 1795, although in the middle of the 19th century it certainly hosted its own race meetings. The first of these took place on Monday 13th April 1840 at Three Hill Meadows using a one mile circuit on a meadow ‘as level as a bowling green’ on the outskirts of Thrapston towards Islip. The meeting was supported by the local Fitzwilliam Hunt Group, starting with a match in which Mr Dunkley’s brown gelding beat Minute owned by Mr George Ivens. The feature race was a sweepstakes over 3 heats which went to Mr Dunkerley’s brown gelding. The next year the meeting was staged on the same course on Monday 12th April 1841 when the Open Stakes was won by Mr Bledsoe’s Duchess from Sportsman and Lady Jane. At the end of the racing there was a curious challenge when the barber challenged the tailor that he would run 100 yards quicker than the tailor’s pony. Mr Page’s pony was leading until just before the winning post when a cabbage took his interest, allowing Mr Sharp to pass him and win. Organised racing ceased in the town until a single revival meeting was held on Wednesday 14th April 1869.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Fitzwilliam Hunt, Mr Dunkley
Principal Races Thrapston Tradesmen’s Stakes, Thrapston Sweepstakes

Monday 12th April 1841
Tradesmen’s Stakes
1. The Queen, bay mare owned by Mr Lewis Abbott
2. Fanny, brown mare owned by Mr G Barber
3. Musician, brown horse owned by Mr Corley

The final recorded meeting took place on Wednesday 14th April 1869.

Course today A one mile circuit at Three Hill Meadow between Thrapston and Islip.
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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