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Earliest meeting: Monday 13th August 1838
Final meeting: Wednesday 11th September 1850
Werneth Low provides wonderful, panoramic views of the Cheshire market town of Hyde and its surrounding towns and villages. In the mid-1800s Werneth Low held its own series of race meetings, the first of which took place on Monday 13th August 1838. At an initial meeting of 40 gentlemen from Hyde, held at the Queen Arms in Newton Moor, the sole agenda item was the organisation of Werneth, Hyde and Compstall races. They discussed a new course which was to be established by Messrs. S and I Perrin, implying that there had been earlier races in the town. The races were conveniently held during Hyde Wakes week, for Hyde had a week when the local workmen, particularly those working in the linen industry, had a week off. The races stretched over 3 days and were held in fields on Werneth Low, directly in front of what is today the Hare and Hounds Inn. The location is very isolated and, in those days, people would either have to arrive by carriage or walk, but newspaper reports suggest that a crowd in excess of 6000 did attend the inaugural meeting. The racecourse must have been one of the most dangerous in the country because no part of the course was level, and the vast majority of it was on a steep slope. Reports suggest a number of horses slipped and there was at least one fatality. Over the next 12 years the course changed a number of times, moving closer to Hyde or Compstall when changes were made. However, there was always a party atmosphere, and the day included many stalls and sideshows as well as the odd unscrupulous bookmaker. In the final few years of the races the course bordered Werneth Hall Farm and Cowlishaw Brow. The final meeting, a 3 day meeting, took place between the Monday 9th and Wednesday 11th September 1850, before the course then returned to farmland.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons S Perrin, I Perrin
Principal Races Werneth Low 30 Guineas Stakes

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

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 11th September 1850.
Course today The old course has now reverted to farmland overlooking the Hare & Hounds Inn.
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.
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