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Earliest meeting: Saturday 12th February 1597
Final meeting: Thursday 21st May 1964
The first recorded meeting in the vicinity of the city of Lincoln took place on the Saturday 12th February 1597 on Lincoln Heath using a four mile course, with racing remaining at this location until 1770. In April 1617 King James I attended the races and presented the Cup for the main race of the meeting. Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Lincoln on the Monday 4th September 1727, but by 1773 racing had transferred to Carholme, a left-handed track of one mile six furlongs round, on the Lincoln to Gainsborough road. The course was fully supported by a significant number of prominent racing Nobles, including Lord Halifax, Lord Cardigan and Lord Scarborough. In February 1843 Lincoln made the ambitious leap from a purely Flat racing course to include National Hunt racing. It attracted top class steeplechasers in its early days, with previous Grand National winners Vanguard (1843 winner) and Cure All (1845 winner) contesting the Lincolnshire Steeplechase in 1846.  Famous Flat races which still remain part of today’s racing calendar, albeit at different racecourses, started life on the Lincoln course, most notably the Lincoln Handicap (first run on Friday 10th August 1849 but not to be confused with the more famous Lincoln Spring Handicap which was first contested in 1853) and the Brocklesby Stakes (first run in 1842). Note that full results of the Lincoln Handicap are available on this site. There was a gradual decline in crowd size over the next century and in April 1963 the Levy Board named Lincoln as one of 12 racecourses that would not receive subsidy after 1966. The course never recovered from this blow and the final meeting took place on Thursday 21st May 1964.

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

Lord Halifax, Lord Cardigan, Lord Gower, Lord Milton, Lord Scarbrough. Lord Fitzwilliam, Colonel Sibthorp, Sir J Byng, Sir R Milbank

Principal Races

The Lincolnshire Handicap and the Brocklesby, both now run at Doncaster, the Macaroni Stakes, Champion Stakes and Lincoln Gold Cup.

Thursday 4th September to Saturday 6th September 1727

His Majesty’s 100 Guineas Purse over 4 miles
1. Sampson owned by Lord Halifax
2. Kiss-in-a-corner owned by Mr Rickaby
3. Bald Charlotte owned by Mr Collyer

Lincoln Maiden Plate for 5 year olds
1. Dwarf owned by Lord Cardigan
2. Whitenose owned by Mr Heneage
3. Spot owned by Mr Alcock

The Ladies Plate for 6 year olds
1. Miss Wilkins owned by Lord Gower
2. Doll owned by Sir R Milbank
3. Fair Shepherdess owned by Sir R Faggs


The King’s Plates, valued at 100 guineas, were a series of annual races which date from the time of Charles II and continued in some form or other up to 1887. From the publication of the first Racing Calendar in 1727 by John Cheny, up to 1751, the Plates were restricted to 6 year olds each carrying 12 stone and were run over three 4 mile heats. In 1751 they were staged at Guildford, Hambleton, Ipswich, Lewes, Lincoln, 3 at Newmarket, Nottingham, Winchester and York. After 1751 younger horses were permitted to run in King’s Plates, with 5 year olds allocated 10 stone and four year olds 9 stone.

Wednesday 29th September to Friday 1st October 1824

Macaroni Stakes over 2 miles
1. Glumdalclitch owned by Mr J Longden
2. The Doctor owned by Mr R Smith
3. Unnamed mare by Cavendish owned by Colonel Sibthorp

Champion Stakes over 2 miles
1. Miller of Mansfield owned by Mr Houldsworth
2. Hannah owned by Sir J Byng

Lincoln Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. Minna owned by Mr Haworth
2. Fair Charlotte owned by Lord Scarbrough
3. Bourdeaux owned by Lord Fitzwilliam

Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th September 1827

Lincoln Champion Stakes over 2 miles
1. Jessy owned by Mr Gascoigne
2. Pedlar owned by Sir J Byng

Macaroni Stakes over 2 miles
1. Prodigious owned by Mr Bird
2. Tinker owned by Mr Thorold

Lincoln Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. Fleur de Lis owned by Sir M W Ridley
2. Sweepstakes owned by Dr Willis
3. Tinker owned by Mr Thorold

The final meeting took place on Thursday 21st May 1964.


The stands still remain and there is clear evidence of a racecourse, even though Fakenham have benefited from the Tote building.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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

Treasurers Badge 1946 Gents 1947 Pair
1948 Gents 1949 Pair 1950 Ladies
1950 Gents 1951 Pair 1952 Ladies
1953 Gents 1953 Ladies 1954 Pair
1956 Ladies 1956 Gents 1957 Ladies 1958 Pair
1959 Ladies 1959 Gents 1960 Ladies 1961 Gents
1963 Ladies 1964 Ladies    

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

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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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