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Earliest meeting: July 1728
Final meeting: Wednesday 20th September 1865
The earliest record of a meeting taking place in the Staffordshire town of Newcastle-under-Lyme was in 1728 on a course at Knutton Heath, which was at the junction of the current B5367 and B5368, about a mile north west of the town. The ‘County History of Staffordshire’ recorded that the July 1728 meeting coincided with Wakes week and lasted for 5 days. It was a popular, well supported event and was repeated at the same venue in 1730. Racing continued on frequent occasions for the next 135 years with some pretty brutal encounters in the early days. In August 1820 a gruelling Handicap took place over five heats, each of them over a 2 mile course, before Sir J G Egerton’s Astbury prevailed. He was placed third in each of the first three heats, but after 6 miles of racing he eventually won the next two heats over a further 4 miles to claim the prize. James Whyte’s History of the British Turf recorded that a two day meeting was held at the start of August 1839, with 3 days intervening between them, when the principal events were the Borough Stakes and the Subscription Stakes. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 20th September 1865.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir T Stanley, Sir G Pigot, Lord Anson, Mr Nanney
Principal Races Trentham Stakes, Newcastle Gold Cup, 10 Guineas Sweepstake, Members Plate

Newcastle under Lyme Handicap Sweepstake August 1820

It took 5 heats, over 2 miles per heat, before Astbury, owned by Sir J G Egerton, captured the prize:-
Astbury owned by Sir J G Egerton                        3  3  3  1  1
Handel owned by Mr Mytton                                0  0  0  2  2
Tarragon owned by Sir W Wynn                       0  0  0  3
Cedric owned by Sir T Stanley              4

Tuesday 3rd August & Wednesday 4th August 1824

Newcastle Under Lyme 10 Guineas Sweepstake over 3 miles
1. Active owned by Sir G Pigot
2. Unnamed colt by Milo owned by Sir T Stanley

Newcastle Members Plate over 2 miles 1 furlong
1. Alecto owned by Mr Barrow
2. Ostrich owned by Mr Thompson
3. Unnamed brother to The Patriarch owned by Lord Anson

Tuesday 16th to Wednesday 17th July 1833

The Trentham Stakes over 2 miles
1. Abelard owned by Mr Massey
2. Henry Masterton owned by Sir T Stanley
3. Newcastle owned by Mr J Timmis

The Newcastle Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. Giovanni owned by Mr Wheeldon
2. Belmont owned by Mr Nanney
3. Marianne owned by Mr E Peel

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 20th September 1865.
Course today At Knutton Heath, a mile from Newcastle.
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:-

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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