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Earliest meeting: Friday 27th March 1840
Final meeting: Tuesday 28th February 1865
The Shropshire market town of Wellington now forms part of the new town of Telford, but it was once a town in its own right and is steeped in history. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and was first granted a market charter in 1244. It enjoys beautiful countryside and has had close links with hunting, particularly the nearby Albrighton Hunt, for centuries. It is therefore not surprising that it held its own race meetings which were first reported in the Sporting Magazine of 1840. The next year a two race card was held on Friday 12th March 1841, the Wellington Sweepstake going to Mr Powell’s Perfection, who beat Negociator and Harlequin, while the principal race, the Shropshire Stakes, was won by Mr R Ogle’s Jane. The town has benefitted from having good transport links, being on the old Roman road of Watling Street, and also linked to the railway network since 1849. Flat racing first came to Wellington in 1859; the meeting on Tuesday 29th May 1860 was staged in a very large meadow, lent by James Ellis of Batsford Heath Farm, which was ‘rolled flat and rendered perfect for the occasion’. The Silver Cup went to Mr Meadow’s Miss Nightingale, while the Sweepstake was won by the same owner’s Doctor. However, the card also contained pony and donkey races. Meetings continued for a further 5 years until the final card was staged on Tuesday 28th February 1865, although even after this date races coinciding with local fairs were held, but they increasingly involved pony racing.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Mr R Freeman, Mr T Turner (Stewards), Mr James Ellis, Mr R Ogle, Mr E Stedman

Principal Races Wellington Silver Cup, Shropshire Farmers Sweepstakes

Friday 27th March 1840

The Shropshire Farmers Sweepstakes
1. Fox owned by Mr E Stedman
2. Spring Flower owned by Mr Smallwood
3. The Baron owned by Mr W S Lawley

The Wellington Silver Cup
1. The Daughter of Meggan owned by Mr R Ogle
2. Charles XII owned by Mr Evett
3. The Miner owned by Mr Green

Flat racing first came to Wellington in 1859 and continued for 6 years until the final meeting on Tuesday 28th February 1865.

Course today  In a very large meadow loaned by James Ellis at Batsford Heath Farm.
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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