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Earliest meeting: Thursday 8th October 1868
Final meeting: Thursday 9th September 1869
Kempsey is a small village in Worcestershire on the River Severn, situated just 5 kilometres from Worcester. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book and its name comes from Kemys Eye, or the island of Kemys, who was a saxon chief. Back in the middle of the 19th century the village ran its own race meetings for 2 years. They were first held on Thursday 8th October 1868, under the guidance of the Earl of Coventry, on the village Review Ground which was adapted to form a spacious racecourse on the banks of the Severn. The meeting opened with the Kempsey Handicap Stakes over 6 furlongs which went to Mr P Merton’s Confederate, and later in the day he also won the West of Worcestershire Welter Race. The final meeting took place the next year on Thursday 9th September 1869, although an additional meeting was held in February at nearby Norton-juxta-Kempsey.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr F W Knight & Mr W E Dowdeswell (both MPs)
Principal Races Kempsey Handicap Stakes, Kempsey Hunters Hurdle

Thursday 8th October 1868
Kempsey Hunters Hurdle
1. Clara, bay filly owned by Mr T Drax
2. Defiance, bay mare owned by Mr J S Walker
3. Belle of Cadiz, brown mare owned by Mr Cramp
Betting: 5/4 Clara, 3/1 Defiance, 5/1 Belle of Cadiz

The final meeting took place on Thursday 9th September 1869.
Course today On the Review Ground.
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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