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Earliest Meeting: Early years of the 18th century
Final Meeting: 1740
The historic Oxfordshire market town of Faringdon is located 18 miles south-west of Oxford and just 10 miles north-west of Wantage. The name Faringdon means ‘fern covered hill’ and the town was granted a weekly market as early as 1218. Historically the town was in Berkshire, until border changes in 1974 meant that, for administrative purposes, it was transferred to Oxfordshire. In the middle of the 18th century Faringdon took full advantage of its location on the stage coach route from Oxford to Wantage by staging race meetings. Although few details, and even fewer actual results, remain from the meetings, they were almost certainly staged on land owned by the 4th Baron Craven, Fulwar Craven, who had estates at Hamstead Marshall and Ashdown Park, owned his own stud and was the driving force behind establishing racecourses at Lambourn, Ilsley and Faringdon. Craven Stakes were contested at many racecourses and the Craven Stakes at Newmarket remains an important Guineas trial even to this day.

This racecourse is not covered in any of the Volumes of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Prior to 1740 there were a multitude of country race meetings, almost all of them included in John Cheny’s list of race meetings, but the government were concerned that the plethora of meetings did not help to increase the quality of bloodstock. In order to combat this Parliament passed an Act in 1740 which specified that the minimum prize per race was £50, an amount which most country courses could not afford. Faringdon was one of many such courses which suffered as a consequence of this Act and did not stage any further meetings after 1740.

Local Patron Fulwar Craven
The final meeting took place in 1740.
Course was on land owned by Fulwar Craven.
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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  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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