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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 6th July 1842
Final meeting: Wednesday 12th July 1871
The Norfolk town of Dereham, also known as East Dereham, is some 15 miles west of the county town of Norwich and once held its own races. The Norfolk Weekly News was the first to record races taking place on Wednesday 6th July 1842 when the principal race was the Dereham 40 Sovereigns Plate. After a keenly fought contest Mr W Scott’s Ellen overcame the determined challenge of Aeolian. This appears to have been a one-off ‘Dereham’ meeting, and racing ceased for 10 years before returning as East Dereham races. Despite the railway arriving in the town in 1847, with lines to Kings Lynn and Fakenham, the next meeting did not take place until 1852 on a mile course situated on Dereham Common. At various meetings the Fakeham Town Band and the Dereham Saxhorn Band entertained racegoers, while a Promenade Concert and Ball were held at the Corn Exchange after racing. By 1869 a temporary grandstand was provided for public use, but within two years the final meeting was held on Wednesday 12th July 1871.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Ives, Captain Bathurst
Principal Races

Dereham 40 Sovereigns Plate, West Norfolk Members Plate, Hunters’ Stakes

Wednesday 6th July 1842
The Dereham 40 Sovereigns Plate
1. Ellen, bay filly owned by Mr W Scott
2. Aeolian, bay colt owned by Mr Woodcock
3. Folly, chestnut mare owned by Captain Ives

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 12th July 1871.
Course today A mile course on Dereham 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

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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