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Earliest meeting: Thursday 15th September 1814
Final meeting: Wednesday 22nd October 1817
The small Wiltshire town of Cricklade, on the River Thames, is situated midway between Swindon and Cirencester. The name Cricklade can be roughly translated as ‘in a pleasant place’, and the town held its own races in the early part of the 19th century, the first meeting taking place in 1814 on a course 2 ½ miles north of Cricklade near Down Ampney House. At that two day meeting in September 1814 the £50 Prize on Thursday 15th went to Mr Dilly’s Tooley beating Rosebud and Zuleika. It proved to be a good meeting for Mr Dilly because he also won the feature Sweepstake on Friday 16th with Risk. In 1816 the Members of Parliament for the borough added a prize of £50 to the card. The final 2 day meeting was held on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd October 1817 when, on day one the Members Plate over 2 miles went to Lady Byron owned by Mr Vevers, while on the final day the Sweepstake was won by Mr Foster’s Pickle beating Marianne and Clara.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Norfolk, Lord Ducie
Principal Races Cricklade Sweepstake, Cricklade Weight for Age Handicap

Friday 16th September 1814
Cricklade Sweepstake over 3 miles C38
1. Risk, bay filly owned by Mr Dilly
2. Heriot, chestnut colt owned by the Duke of Norfolk
3. Skylark, bay gelding owned by Mr Tate

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 22nd October 1817.
Course today A 3 mile course about 2 ½ miles from Cricklade at Down Ampney House.
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

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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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