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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 28th June 1699
Final meeting: Friday 30th July 1830
The Cumbrian town, parish and port of Workington, then in the county of Cumberland, once had its own racecourse which had infrequent meetings over a period of at least 130 years. The ‘County History of Cumberland’ recorded that meetings took place at Workington in the latter part of the seventeenth century, with one certainly held on Wednesday 28th June 1699. These races took place on a piece of extra-parochial ground near Workington, called ‘The Cloffock’. It was situated on the north side of the town, between the River Derwent and a small rivulet which completely surrounds it. It is certain that there was a meeting in 1699 because at a council meeting held in Cockermouth in January 1699 it was ‘Ordered that the High Sheriffe (sic) of this County doe give twenty pounds to be divided into two Plates equally. The one to be run for at Workington the last Wednesday in June, and the other to be run for at Langwathby Moore (sic) the first Thursday after Appleby Assizes and proclamation to be made a month before each Race’. The next year High Sheriff’s funds were given to Workington and Brough Marsh, with the Workington meeting taking place on Wednesday 26th June 1700 and the Brough Marsh meeting on Friday 19th July 1700. By 1701 the High Sheriff sponsored a Plate to the value of £15, all in one Plate, to be run at Workington on the last Wednesday in June, over the 4 mile course. Each horse carried 10 stone, with the saddle and bridle included, and all entries had to put up 40 shillings, except Cumberland gentlemen who only put up 20 shillings. Meetings were organised intermittently for the next 130 years, with a particularly fruitful period between 1825 and 1830. An unusual 2 day meeting took place on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd August 1828 when a large series of matches were run, after which a Handicap was formed. The results amply illustrate the benefits of a Handicap, because in the matches Collector beat Frizingham Lass, Creeping Kate beat Frizington Lass, and Dunny beat Seaton Lass, but once the horses were accurately handicapped the winner was Frizington Lass. The final 2 day meeting took place on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th July 1830, although racing was revived on Friday 15th October 1852 for a meeting at Stainburn on the outskirts of the town.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr James Harding and Mr William Fell (Stewards)
Principal Races Workington £50 Sweepstakes, West Cumberland Stakes

Friday 22nd August 1828
Stewards’ Handicap
1. Frizington Lass, bay mare owned by Mr Mossop
2. Dunny, dappled mare owned by Mr Watson
3. Playful, bay horse owned by Mr Atkinson

The final meeting took place on Friday 30th July 1830.
Course today At the Cloffocks on the north side of the town, between the River Derwent and a small rivulet.
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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