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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 24th October 1732
Final meeting: Wednesday 2nd September 1846
Racing first took place in the Durham town of Darlington as early as October 1732 when the meeting was held in the Dodmire Fields area of the town and was spread over 4 days from Tuesday 24th to Friday 27th October 1732. By the early 1750s the races were moved to Blackwell on low-lying fields leading down to the river, and two years later the 1752 meeting was held on the Tuesday during the Whit week celebrations. Racing became less well reported and lapsed for almost a century until discussions took place throughout 1844 to organise a much grander meeting. However, it was not until 2nd September 1845 that the first meeting did take place and stretched over 3 days. As early as the first race the writing was on the wall in the Clervaux Castle Stakes over 12 furlongs when Robbie Burns, owned by Mr Holland, walked over. The last 2 day meeting took place on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September 1846 when the final Darlington Plate was won by Mr Hesseltine’s Fitzwilliam, beating Aristotle.

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

Local Patrons

Duke of Cleveland, Lord Zetland, Lord Chesterfield, Lord Eglinton, Sir J Gerard

Principal Races

Terrace Stakes, Darlington Plate, Ruby Castle Stakes

Tuesday 2nd September 1845

Terrace Stakes over 4 furlongs
1. Ada owned by Lord Zetland
2. Driffield owned by Mr W Scott
3. The Slayers Daughter owned by Mr Hesseltine

Darlington Free Handicap
1. Lucy owned by Mr Kitching
2. Poussin owned by Mr Meiklam
3. Colheiress owned by Lord Zetland

Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd September 1846

Terrace Stakes over 4 furlongs
1. Dipthong owned by Mr Jacques
2. New Year’s Day owned by Sir J Gerard

Darlington Plate
1. Fitzwilliam owned by Mr Hesseltine
2. Aristotle owned by Mr Meiklam

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 2nd September 1846.
Course today Most of the old course, leading down to the River, is taken over by Blackwell Grange Golf Course.

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com