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Earliest meeting: Saturday 18th August 1849
Final meeting: Tuesday 29th March 1859
The Somerset village of Chewton Mendip lies just 4 miles north of the Cathedral city of Wells and some 16 miles South of Bristol. The village has a rich history, boasting a Bronze Age long barrow to the north of the village, and in the 18th century had a Gothic Mansion and lodge which was owned by the Waldegrave family. Today there is only evidence of the lodge. However, Lady Waldegrave sponsored races in the village in the middle of the 19th century on a course a mile from the village on the Bath to Wells road. The one mile, oval course was in the grounds of the Waldergrave Arms Inn and first staged racing in 1849. A meeting, entitled the Mendip Races, took place on Saturday 18th August 1849 but is likely to have been on a course closer to Axbridge. The meeting was sponsored by Lord Clifden who donated the Mendip Cup. In 1850 races were held at Chewton Mendip, the principal race being the Chewton Hurdle which was won by Captain West’s Axa. Stewards Ordinaries were served at the Waldergarve Arms Inn on race days. Racing continued annually until a final meeting on 29th March 1859.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lady Waldergrave, Captain West
Principal Races Chewton Hurdle, Innkeepers’ Plate, Chewton Stakes

Tuesday 30th July 1850
Chewton Hurdle Stakes over 1 ½ miles and 5 leaps
1. Axa, bay mare owned by Captain West
2. Bella Donna, aged horse owned by Mr Burroughs
3. Sir Benjamin, bay horse owned by Mr Wilkins

The only recorded meeting took place on Tuesday 29th March 1859.
Course today A one mile, oval course in the grounds of the Waldergarve Arms Inn.
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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