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The Pitfour Estate, near Mintlaw and south of the village of Strichen, was in the Buchan area of north-east Scotland, and once extended from St Fergus to New Pitsligo encompassing 50 square miles of land. It was first purchased by James Ferguson as early as 1700, making him the Laird of Pitfour. At the centre of the estate was Pitfour House, a lavish Mansion inhabited by successive generations of Fergusons.

This racecourse is not covered in any volumes of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons John & George Ferguson

In the middle of the 18th century George Ferguson paid for a Flat racecourse to be built near White Cow Woods, with a perimeter of 2.2 miles and a width of 52 feet, it was so impressive that it was referred to as the ‘Ascot of the North’. Racing was certainly taking place at the private course in the 1750s, while in 1845 a 50 foot tall octagonal observation tower, with crenelated parapets, was built by the architect John Smith. Although George was a frugal, wealthy man, his wealth passed to his illegitimate son who was extravagant. As a consequence much of the Mansion was demolished, and the Estate had to be sold after the end of the First World War. The racecourse was still marked on Ordnance Survey maps in 1925, although by then it was disused, and in 1926 the racecourse was forested. Unfortunately no results from any of the race meetings exist.


I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1856 and 1925 maps shown below.
The final meeting took place before the start of World War I
Course today The former racecourse is now a forested area.
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

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