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Earliest meeting: Monday 21st April 1856
Final meeting: Monday 21st April 1856
The County Durham village of Castleside, just a short distance south-west of the town of Consett and the neighbouring village of Shotley Bridge, was once the country’s main swordmaking area and was able to call upon the local engraver Thomas Bewick. Castleside is on the main road linking Darlington with Edinburgh and once held its own races in conjunction with Shotley Bridge, the only meeting taking place on Monday 21st April 1856. The weather was very favourable for steeplechasing and the course started on the lane leading to Consett Wood, and on reaching the Wood the runners turned and headed back to a finishing point close to the starting flag. The main race was the Castleside Handicap which was won by Mr G Robinson’s Squire of Bensham. The concluding race was the Four Lane Ends Steeplechase which saw Mr Skeene’s black mare Maid of the Mill beat Mr Barwick’s Rambler. There are no records of any later meetings taking place in the village.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr G Robinson, Mr Barwick, Mr Skeene
Principal Races Castleside Handicap, Four Lane Ends Steeplechase

Monday 21st April 1856
Castleside Handicap
1. Squire of Bensham, chestnut gelding owned by Mr G Robinson
2. Rambler, bay gelding owned by Mr Barwick
3. Try It On, bay gelding owned by Mr Robinson

The final meeting took place on Monday 21st April 1856.
Course today A 3 mile course starting on the lane towards Consett Wood, with a turning point on reaching the Wood.
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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