WELLS RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 9th July 1751
Final meeting: Tuesday 1st July 1834
Wells, a cathedral city on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, is regarded as England’s second smallest city. It was a settlement as early as Roman times, and in the Domesday Book was known as Welle. It first held race meetings in 1751 when a two day meeting was staged on Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th July. On the first day the £50 Hunters Purse was won by Mr Polden’s Bumper, while two days later a second Purse went to Mr Makepeace’s Merry Hunter. By 1789 the meeting was spread over 4 days, beginning on Tuesday 4th August with a £50 Stakes won by Mr J Clark’s Merry Andrew, and culminating in a £50 Plate on Friday 7th August won by Mr Philip’s Hidalgo. The principal race in the 19th century was the Wells Silver Cup which was won on Tuesday 20th January 1824 by Winifred owned by Mr Iveson; on Wednesday 11th July 1832 by Mr N E Vaughan’s Artes, and on Wednesday 26th June 1833 by Mr Bayly’s Warrior. The final meeting took place the next year on Tuesday 1st July 1834.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Poyle, Lord Ailesbury, Mr Taunton, Mr I Day

Principal Races Hunters Purse, Silver Cup, City Members Plate, Mendip Stakes, Ladies Plate

Tuesday 9th July 1751

Wells £50 Hunters Purse
1. Bumper, bay gelding owned by Mr Polden
Walked over

Thursday 11th July 1751

Wells £50 Hunters Purse
1. Merry Hunter, bay gelding owned by Mr Makepeace
2. Poppet, brown gelding owned by Mr Gibbons
3. Unnamed grey colt owned by Mr Hawkins
4. Moll Row, bay mare owned by Mr Samwell
5. Fanny, bay mare owned by Lord Poyle

4th and 7th August 1789

Wells £50 Stakes over 4 miles
1 Merry Andrew owned by Mr J Clark

Wells £50 Plate over 4 miles
1 Hidalgo owned by Mr Philips

Monday 19th July to Tuesday 20th July 1824

Wells City Members Plate over 2 miles
1. Isabella owned by Mr W West
2. Healey owned by Mr Williams
3. Ferdinand owned by Lord Ailesbury

Wells Original Sweepstake over 2 miles 1 furlong
1. Unnamed filly by Anticipation owned by Mr King
2. Gleaner owned by Mr J Stevens
3. Sarah owned by Mr Smith

Wells Silver Cup over 2 miles
1. Winifred owned by Mr Iveson

Wells Ladies Plate over 2 miles 1 furlong
1. Sir Huldebrand owned by Mr Lovell
2. Unnamed filly by Anticipation owned by Mr King
3. Franconi owned by Lord Ailesbury

Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th June 1833

The Mendip Stakes over 2 miles
1. Little Boy Blue owned by Mr I Day
2. Mazeppa owned by Mr Radclyffe
3. Achilles owned by Mr Sadler

The Wells Cup over 2 miles
1. Warrior owned by Mr Bayly
2. Walker owned by Mr Keen

Wells City Members Plate over 2 miles
1. Coronet owned by Mr Taunton
2. Don Juan owned by Mr Peyton
3. Unnamed colt by Luzborough owned by Mr C Day

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 1st July 1834.
Course today On the outskirts of the city overlooked by the Mendip Hills.
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:-

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.
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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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