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Earliest meeting: Monday 14th March 1836
Final meeting: Monday 1st October 1855
Today Great Barr is a suburb of Birmingham in the northern part of the city. Back in the 19th century it would have been more rural and staged what was claimed to be the first steeplechase held in Birmingham. The meeting took place on Monday 14th March 1836 on a flagged 3 ½ mile course over fields owned by Sir Edward Scott stretching from Sutton Coldfield to Barr Beacon. There was a 3 race programme with the principal race being the Great Barr Steeplechase which was won by Mount Eagle ridden by Mr F Wallis. A second race, the Warwickshire Stakes, was a match between Manfred, owned by Captain Lamb and ridden by the famous Captain Becher, who beat his only rival Creeper, owned by Mr K Wallis and ridden by Mr Ball. Further meetings took place on Monday 27th February 1837 and 28th March 1838. Just a month later, on Tuesday 17th April 1838, a great number of people assembled to witness Birmingham Steeple Races over a 4 mile course in the vicinity of Barr Beacon. The card opened with the Birmingham Stakes, worth £50 to the winner, which went to Captain Fendall’s The Grayling, ridden by Oliver, after a good battle with Lady Teazle and Manfred. The Walsall Troop Stakes which followed saw Sir Edward Scott’s The Shepherd beat Mousetrap and Lofty, while in the principal Barr Beacon Stakes Tom Leedham proved too strong for his rivals.   Although there were frequent breaks without races, especially between 1840 and 1842, races continued to be staged on the Barr Beacon, with a final meeting held on a new course near the Horns Hotel on Monday 1st October 1855.

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

Sir E D Scott, Captain Fendall, Captain King, Captain Lamb

Principal Races

Barr Beacon Stakes, Birmingham Stakes, Walsall Troop Stakes, Scott Cup

Monday 14th March 1836
The Great Barr Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles
1. Mount Eagle ridden by Mr F Wallis
2. Pharold ridden by Mr Patrick
3. Turpin ridden by Mr Parker

Wednesday 28th March 1838

Scott Cup
1. Spotless owned by Mr Whittaker
2. Persiani owned by Captain King
3. Master Robert owned by Mr York
It was recorded that after the meeting the Officers dined at their Birmingham Barracks.

Warwickshire Stakes
1. Creeper owned by Mr K Wallis
2. Manfred owned by Captain Lamb
The winner was ridden by Mr Ball, whilst the runner up was ridden by the more famous Captain Beecher.

Tuesday 17th April 1838

Birmingham Stakes
1. The Grayling owned by Captain Fendall
2. Lady Teazle owned by Mr Parker
3. Deceiver owned by Mr J Pratt
This was the first race to take place over the new course.

Walsall Troop Stakes
1. The Shepherd owned by Captain Sir E D Scott
2. Mousetrap owned by Mr Chawner

Barr Beacon Stakes
1. Tom Leedham owned by Mr W J Goodwin
2. Smallhopes owned by Mr Newman
3. Rose Bud owned by Mr Budd

The final meeting at Great Barr was held on Monday 1st October 1855 but on a course at Queslett.

Course today A flagged course from Sutton Coldfield to Barr Beacon.
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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