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Earliest meeting: Thursday 29th August 1822
Final meeting: Friday 7th September 1860
The Kent town of Chatham, in the Medway district of the county, was first recorded as early as 880 when known as Cetham. In August 1822 it joined forces with nearby Rochester to launch race meetings known as ‘The Rochester and Chatham Races’ on a course situated on Chatham Lines. That first two day meeting was staged on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th August when the City Plate was won by Legal Tender for Mr Tyr Jones, and on the Friday the Town Plate went to Gift for Mr Brown. By 1823 the meeting had become a 3 day affair running from Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th August 1823 on a course of 9 furlongs in circumference with a straight run in of just 2 furlongs. It seems highly appropriate that the Chatham Plate was won by Chatham owned by Mr Farrall, while Mr D Page’s Prosody won both the Member’s Plate and the Rochester City Plate. At the September 1839 meeting the racecourse celebrated Army successes by staging the Western Division Plate and the Officers Town Plate. Meetings continued to be well supported annually until a final card was staged on Friday 7th September 1860 when the concluding Kent Stakes saw Mr Charles’s Gibraltar beat Winkfield and Killigrew.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Clifton, Captain Becher, Sir H Calder (Steward), Captain White

Principal Races Chatam Town Plate, Rochester City Plate, Member's Plate

Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th August 1823

Chatham Plate over a mile and a distance
1. Chatham owned by Mr Farrall

Rochester and Chatham Member’s Plate over 2 miles
1. Prosody owned by Mr D.Page

Rochester City Plate over 2 miles
1. Prosody owned by Mr D.Page

Chatham Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Gift owned by Mr Brown

Wednesday 4th August to Friday 6th August 1824

Rochester Plate over a mile and a furlong
1. Maid of Kent owned by Mr Brown
2. Greylock owned by Mr Coleman
3. Irene owned by Mr Waller

Tuesday 2nd August 1825
Rockingham Stakes
1. Fortune Teller, chestnut mare owned by Mr Hickman
2. Greylock, grey horse owned by Mr Coleman
3. Wrangler, bay filly owned by Lord Clifton

Chatham Plate
1. Irene owned by Mr Waller
2. Greylock owned by Mr Coleman
3. Maid of Kent owned by Mr Brown

The final meeting took place on Friday 7th September 1860.

Course today A 9 furlong course with 2 furlong straight on Chatham Lines.
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:-

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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