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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 8th September 1840
Final meeting: Friday 4th August 1876
The Lancashire town of Radcliffe, near Bury, first held races on Radcliffe Bridge Racecourse on Tuesday 8th September 1840. The meeting was well attended and by 1846 had extended to a 3 day meeting in September when the feature Earl of Wilton Cup was won by Hooton owned by Mr Worthington. The racecourse was a flat, oval course of a mile with a straight of just under 4 furlongs on the Earl of Wilton’s private estate and could be reached from Manchester city centre, by train, in just 12 minutes. Racing continued for a further 30 years before the final meeting on Friday 4th August 1876 when the last Wilton Cup was won by Hippias.

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

Earl of Wilton, Sir J Gerard

Principal Races Manchester Cup, Heaton Park Stakes, Earl of Wilton Cup

Monday 7th to Wednesday 9th September 1846

The Heaton Park Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Maid of Auckland owned by Mr Wood
2. Lady Shrewsbury owned by Mr Owen
3. Alice owned by Mr Sutcliffe

The Earl of Wilton Cup over 2 ¼ miles
1. Hooton owned by Mr Worthington
2. Rowena owned by Mr A Johnstone
3. Miss Castling owned by Mr Osborne

The Bancroft Stakes over 6 furlongs
1. Credential owned by Mr R Peel
2. Comme-il-Faut owned by Mr Cranston
3. Unnamed filly by Liverpool owned by Mr L Brooke

The Manchester Cup over 1 ¾ miles
1. Pantasa owned by Sir J Gerard
2. Hooton owned by Mr Worthington

The Smyrna Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Fair Rosamond owned by Mr Carter
2. Maid of Auckland owned by Mr Wood
3. Delaine owned by Mr Abbott

Wednesday 30th August 1848
Manchester Cup over 1 ¾ miles
1. Morpeth, aged horse owned by Mr Robinson
2. Vanish, 5 year old owned by Sir C Monck
3. Smuggler Bill, 5 year old owned by Mr W Jones

The final meeting took place on Friday 4th August 1876.

I am grateful to Sue Slater for providing a link to the Radcliffe Cricket Club website whose ground is on the site of the old racecourse. The Earl of Wilton's extensive estate, developed around Heaton Hall, was less than 4 miles from Osbourne House, and today Osbourne Walk leads to the flats which are built on part of the old estate.


Course today An oval course of a mile with a 4 furlong straight on the Earl of Wilton’s estate.
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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com