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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 19th April 1637
Final meeting: Saturday 10th September 1730
The historic market town of Rothwell, in Northamptonshire, first held races in the early part of the seventeenth century. It is situated to the north west of Kettering and was granted a charter by King John in 1204 to hold a market every Monday and have an annual Fair after Trinity Sunday. Slade, a Ward in the Borough of Kettering, jointly organised race meetings with Rothwell in the 17th and early 18th centuries.  One of the earliest recorded meetings in the town was on Wednesday 19th April 1637 when a £50 race took place between Lord Cullen and Mr Washbourne which was won by Lord Cullen’s horse. A further meeting took place in September 1638 when Lord Sherard won a Silver Flagon with a horse ridden by Lord Westmoreland, defeating horses owned by Mr Digby and Sir Noel. The Digby horse was ridden by George Blunt, and the Noel horse by Captain Lisle. Races were widely reported, and in 1672 reference was made to a meeting at Rothwell on 5th September 1672 in the Thomas Isham Journal. Thomas Isham lived at Lamport Hall, some 5 miles from Rothwell. An extract from his journal is shown below. He later comments that further races were staged on 4th September 1673 and were held annually for a considerable period thereafter. The London Gazette of 9th to 13th August 1683 advertised a meeting at "Rothwell Slade in the county of Northampton at which the two usual Plates will be run for on the first Wednesday and Thursday in September; for the Thursday Plate each Horse to carry 12 Stone, gentlemen only to ride, three Heats, 4 miles each Heat; the Horses are obliged to be at Rothwell Town three weeks before the Day. For the Wednesday Plate each Horse to carry 10 stone, two miles each Heat; what horse runs for it is obliged to be at Rothwell ten days before the day of the Race." The next evidence of racing at Rothwell was a two day meeting held on 30th and 31st August 1727. Baily’s Racing Register does not provide results from races held at Rothwell Slade until the final meeting which took place on Saturday 10th September 1730.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Sherard, Lord Essex, Sir A Hasilrigg
Principal Races Rothwell Slade 30 Guineas Selling Plate

Saturday 10th September 1730

Rothwell Slade 30 Guineas Selling Plate
1. Carlisle Gelding owned by Mr Bainbrigge
2. Red Rose owned by Sir A Hasilrigg
3. Cripple owned by Lord Essex
4. Now-or-Never owned by Mr Hawkins

The final meeting took place on Saturday 10th September 1730.
Course today In fields in the Slade area of the town.
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

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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