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Earliest meeting: Sunday 24th August 1684
Final meeting: Saturday 11th March 1865
The tiny village of Datchet, on the River Thames in Buckinghamshire, has more recently been part of Berkshire for administrative reasons. The village was mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book when it was known as Daceta. The village is in a prominent position being close to Windsor and has a ferry service on the Thames. One of the earliest records of racing taking place near Windsor was on Sunday 24th August 1684 when Charles II attended the races at Datchet Ferry. In the middle of the 18th century Windsor frequently offered £50 prizes often sponsored by the local corporation. Racing certainly took place in 1744, 1745, 1747, 1766 and 1769. A later record of racing taking place in the village was on Thursday 4th August 1748 when Mr Hindman was attacked on Hounslow Heath by 2 mounted Highwaymen on his return from Datchet Races and was relieved of a watch and 3 guineas. In the middle of the 19th century the village held a 2 day meeting on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 1865, although the meeting had to be postponed in January and again on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st February due to inclement weather. On Friday the Hunters Stakes was won by Laurie Martin from Congreave, and later in the day the Trial Stakes saw Merrimac beat Old Windsor. The next day the opening Stand Plate was won by Surbiton beating Strike, while the Selling Handicap saw the unkindly named Donkey beat Renumerator and White Stockings. Pony racing continued in the area and was certainly still being staged in 1890.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons King Charles II, Mr Hindman
Principal Races Datchet Open Steeplechase, Hunters Stakes, Trial Stakes

Saturday 10th March 1865
Datchet Open Steeplechase
1. Goldfinder
2. Ballycasey
3. Rattlesnake

The map below, issued by John Rocque in 1761, shows Datchet Common, site of early Windsor races.

The final recorded meeting took place on Saturday 11th March 1865.

Course today Initially at Datchet Ferry and later on Datchet Common.
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.
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