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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 17th July 1804
Final meeting: Thursday 1st September 1938
The first time results of races from the Devon town of Totnes were included in the Racing Calendar was from the three day meeting beginning on Tuesday 17th July 1804. It took place on Totnes Broad Marsh, with the opening race won by Colonel Andrew’s Marquis, beating Gourd and Boringdon. It proved to be an excellent meeting for Colonel Andrews because he also won the Purse with Wine-Bibber and the final Match when Marquis defeated Sweep. The next year a three day meeting was staged between Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th July 1805 when the prestigious Town Plate was won in impressive style by Mr Burrell’s Quill-Driver. By 1837 the races were included in Baily's Racing Register when billed as the ‘Totnes and Bridgetown races’. Meetings continued to be run successfully until the final flat card was held on 8th September 1876, although National Hunt racing continued until Thursday 1st September 1938. Racing was planned for the 1939 season but the course was requisitioned by the Admiralty for the War effort. Racing did not return once the War ended and the land was ultimately sold in 1950.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Seymour, Captain Wall, Captain Ilbert, Captain French, Captain Fellowes
Principal Races Totnes Gold Cup, Ladies Cup, Totnes Hunters Sweepstake, Totnes Town Plate

Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th July 1805

Totnes Hunters Sweepstake over 3 miles
1. Ironsides owned by Captain Wall
2. Cyclops owned by Mr Percy Burrell
3. Creeping Jenny owned by Captain Fellowes

Totnes Town Plate over 4 miles
1. Quill-Driver owned by Mr Percy Burrell
2. Maid of all Work owned by Mr Foster
3. Phoenix owned by Captain Ilbert

Totnes Gentleman Riders Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Quill-Driver owned by Mr Percy Burrell
2. Woodpecker owned by Captain French
3. Perdita owned by Mr Kempston

Wednesday 7th July to Thursday 8th July 1824

Totnes Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. Prosody owned by Mr Worth
2. Grimace owned by Mr King
3. Momentus owned by Mr Taunton

Totnes 5 sovereign Sweepstake over 2 miles
1. Eglantine owned by Mr Taunton
2. Enniskillen owned by Mr Worth
3. Grimace owned by Mr King

Totnes Ladies Cup over 2 miles
1. Viscount owned by Mr Crapp
3 others also ran

By 1837 the races are included in Baily's Racing Register, it being called the Totnes and Bridgetown races, details of which are shown below.

James Whyte’s History of the British Turf records the August 1839 races as :-
Lord Seymour Plate twice round the one mile Totnes and Bridgetown course.

Wednesday 23rd to Thursday 24th August 1837

The Totnes Ladies Plate over 2 miles
1. Preference owned by Mr Taunton
2. Doncaster owned by Mr Fox
3. Cornet owned by Sir W.Carew

The Totnes Stakes over 2 miles
1. Unnamed sister to Don Sebastian owned by Colonel Gilbert

The Bridgetown Free Handicap Stakes over a mile and a distance
1. Cornet owned by Sir W.Carew

The final flat race meeting took place on 8th September 1876, although National Hunt racing continued until 1st September 1938. Racing was planned for the 1939 season but the course was requisitioned by the Admiralty for the War effort. Racing did not return and the land was ultimately sold in 1950.

Course today The land is now covered by an Industrial Estate, although Racecourse Garage provides a timely reminder of the previous existence of a racecourse on Babbage Road.

This rare old racecard is for Totnes and Bridgetown races- First day Tuesday September 5th 1882. It was a Jumps meeting and the races and results (written in pencil) for the day are as follows:-


THE TOTNES FLYING STEEPLECHASE PLATE. 3miles 4fur of "fair hunting country, all flying fences"! Won by Mr J Macintosh's ROSE OF RICHMOND

THE TOWN PLATE. A Hurdle Race. 2 miles. Won by Mr T Beck's LADY JANE?

A HUNTERS' STEEPLECHASE. 3 miles of Flying Course. Won by Mr J Irish's PHANTOM.

THE DART VALE STEEPLECHASE. 3 miles "of fair banking country". Won by Mr WR Baker's ELEANOR.

The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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:-

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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