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Earliest meeting: Monday 16th August 1734
Final meeting: Tuesday 23rd May 1837
The tiny County Durham village of Winlaton first held races in 1734. It once had a rich industrial history when the Quaker steel magnate Ambrose Crowley moved to the village. He was a nail-maker and set up his furnace on the banks of the River Derwent at Winlaton Mill in 1691. Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Winlaton in August 1734 when the races were run on the Hall-Garth. Meetings continued in the village until the middle of the 19th century, supported by the Cowen Brothers, William and John, and the owner of Kirkley Hall and Estate, John Savile. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 23rd May 1837 and it was a fitting end that the Winlaton Town Plate was won by Merry Lass owned by John Cowen. Races still continued in the village through to 1866, although they were more random and across a variety of fields.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr John Cowen, Mr William Cowen, Mr John Savile
Principal Races

Winlaton Hack Stakes, Winlaton Town Plate, Winlaton Sweepstakes

Monday 16th August 1734

Winlaton 20 Guineas Plate
1. Baggage owned by Mr Swinburne
2. Morat owned by Mr Craggs
3. Ringtail owned by Mr Newton

Racing continued at the village until the mid-1800s, ably supported by the Cowen Brothers, William and John, and the owner of Kirkley Hall and Estate, John Savile. Details of the 1837 meeting are shown below.

Monday 22nd to Tuesday 23rd May 1837

Winlaton Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Merry Lass owned by Mr John Cowen
2. Unnamed horse owned by Mr John Savile
3. Unnamed horse owned by Mr Charles Ogle

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 23rd May 1837.
Course today On the Hall-Garth on the edge of the village.
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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