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Earliest meeting: Thursday 24th June 1680
Final meeting: Tuesday 17th October 1837
The Staffordshire market town of Penkridge lies on the edge of the beautiful countryside of Cannock Chase and can date its history back to the 17th century industrial period. The ‘County History of Staffordshire’ recorded that there was a race meeting on Midsummer Day 1680 at Penkridge, and again in 1696 when £1 was spent on ‘staking for the Plate at Penkridge on behalf of the Earl of Rutland’. Racing continued intermittently for over fifty years and was still taking place on Monday 24th June 1734, the last occasion that racing was held until the 19th century. Races were revived in 1824 when a meeting was staged in October 1824 on a course just outside the town, to the east of Preston Hill and just off the Levedale Road, with further meetings following until the final card was held on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th October 1837. The meeting opened with the Teddesley Stakes which went to Mr F Pratt’s Will-o-the-Wisp, beating Betsy and Jim Crow. Later on the card the Congreve Hurdle Stakes was won by Tom Leedham for Mr J Critchley. After racing an Ordinary was held at the Littleton Arms Inn followed by a Ball.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Hon. E R Littleton, Edmund Wigan, Mr Critchley
Principal Races Penkridge Stakes, Teddesley Stakes, Chillington Stakes

Tuesday 17th October 1837
Chillington Stakes
1. Jenny Wren, bay mare owned by Mr Williams
2. The Howdy, bay filly owned by Mr J Critchley
3. Ariel, bay horse owned by Mr A Ronald

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

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 17th October 1837.
Course today A short distance from the town centre, to the east of Preston Hill and off the Levedale Road.
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

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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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