Soham House
If you can provide any photos associated with this stable, or additional information to fill any gaps then contact johnwslusar@gmail.com

1892- October 1904 Wallace Johnstone
Wallace Johnstone, a member of the family of James Johnstone, owner of The Standard newspaper, was a keen horseracing fan and had his own stud, Heath Stud Farm, at Newmarket, ideally placed next to the July Course and a near neighbour of Egerton House and Stables. In 1892 he commissioned the renowned London architect, C J Harold Cooper, to design and build him a fashionable house in Newmarket. Wallace Johnstone already retained his own trainer from 1890, John Dawson, at Warren House stables, and in 1898 the combination was successful in the 2000 Guineas with Disraeli (SR 1967) ridden by Sam Loates. The colt had previously won the Champion Breeders Foal Plate at Derby in 1897. Johnstone instructed Harold Cooper to design him a country retreat for entertaining his London friends during Newmarket race weeks. The result, Soham House on the Snailwell Road, was a 9-bedroom Victorian Arts & Craft mansion, completed in 1892, which comprised a spacious lounge hall, 2 reception rooms, 9 bedrooms with dressing areas, 3 bathrooms, a unique and beautiful stained-glass window featuring illustrations of The Brownies children's books and an extensive suite of domestic offices. The stained-glass window was such an important architectural feature that it ended up in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The house also boasted a billiard room, with crenelated parapet, and a squash court. Outside, the extensive gardens were spread over 10 acres, and contained 3 greenhouses, a double conservatory, a large paddock and sufficient stabling for a large number of horses and coaches.
1897 Champion Breeders Foal Plate at Derby DISRAELI 100/8 owned by Wallace Johnstone, trained by John Dawson and ridden by Fred Allsopp
1898 2000 Guineas DISRAELI (SR 1967) 100/8 owned by Wallace Johnstone, trained by John Dawson and ridden by Sam Loates

NEWMARKET RACECOURSES
For over 4 centuries racing has been staged in Newmarket, but how have the racecourses evolved from an initial starting point at Fleam Dyke Pumping Station, some 8 miles from the town, with a winning post barely 200 metres from the town centre, into two world recognized, excellent racecourses and a universal acceptance that Newmarket is the Headquarters of racing?
To access an interactive racecourse map showing over 50 individually named racecourses CLICK HERE. The map will enable you to:-
1. Determine when extended races over 8 miles, 6 miles and 4 miles began to be replaced by the courses now visited by thousands annually;
2. Consider how the challenge of crossing the Devil's Dyke was overcome;
3. Contemplate why the town no longer has a steeplechase course despite having at least 5 courses during the past 2 centuries;
4. Examine the practicalities of having up to 48 starting posts and winning posts;
5. Appreciate that it was not financially viable to have an open racecourse spread widely across the heath, with a finishing post barely 200 metres from the town centre;
6. Research how and why the Cambridgeshire Handicap has been contested over 3 different courses.
NOTE: The map does not make mention of 2 particular courses:-
(i) Sefton Course (also known as the Cambridge Road Course)
Source: 1970 Raceform.  Used from 1959 to 1975.
(ii) New Circular Course
The Circular Handicap was run on Friday 29th October 1875 on the New Circular Course of about two miles.
Source: London Standard (30th October 1875): ''the horses started near the Turn of the Lands, ran back way of the Cambridgeshire Course towards the Ditch, and afterwards proceeded down the side of the Tan Gallop, and turned into the Rowley Mile near the Bretby Stakes starting post, finishing at the stand at the end of the flat. Except in the hollow near the Cambridgeshire start the runners should have been visible all the way if the sky had been bright and clear''.
Another report hoped that the Circular Handicap would become a feature in future programmes, as it would be contested in front of the new grandstand which would be completed in about a year and would be able to accommodate thousands.
(I am grateful to Tim Cox for bringing attention to these 2 courses.)
Enjoy researching the intriguing history of Newmarket and its many racecourses.

November 1904 Lord Penrhyn
In November 1904 Lord Penrhyn purchased Soham House from Wallace Johnstone in readiness to gift it to his 3rd son Charles Douglas Pennant, aged 27, as a wedding present in the hopes that he would settle in Newmarket.

1905-14 Charles & Lady Edith Douglas Pennant
On 28th January 1905 Charles Douglas Pennant, 3rd son of Lord Penrhyn, married Edith Anne Dawson, eldest daughter of the Earl of Dartrey. Charles was born at Wicken, Northamptonshire on 7th October 1877 and was educated at Evelyns, Eton and Sandhurst. The couple settled at Soham House until the start of the First World War, when Charles saw action in the Coldstream Guards. Tragically, he was killed in action on 29th October 1914, aged 37, and was reburied by the Germans at Rentel, Belgium on 18th November 1916.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1836 map shown above. Soham House is 3
To enjoy the experience of a day at Newmarket races in May 1838 CLICK HERE

1914-November 1916 Lady Edith Douglas Pennant
For almost 2 years Lady Edith resided at Soham House during the early years of the First World War. During that time she met Lieutenant Charles Ash Windham.

November 1916-May 1920 Captain Charles Windham and Lady Edith Windham
In November 1916 Lady Edith Douglas-Pennant, widow of Charles Douglas-Pennant, became engaged to Lieutenant Charles Ash Windham, grandson of Sir Charles Windham. They were married on 14th November 1916 at St Peter's Church, Belgravia, London and lived in Soham House, Newmarket. The happy couple had a son on Wednesday 26th March 1919. In January 1920 the couple purchased Banstead Manor from Major Dermot McCalmont, who had inherited it from his second cousin, Harry McCalmont when he died on 8th December 1902. At that time Banstead Manor extended over 408 acres, and the couple's plan was to lease part of the land to Sir Edward Hulton to develop a racing stud, and part to Major S G Howard. The land extended across Cheveley and Kirtling, and was quite distinct and independent of the rest of the Cheveley Park Estate. In August 1922 Lady Edith Windham sold Banstead Manor to Mr J Rees, an Australian millionaire who was keen to pursue his hobby of horse racing at the Headquarters of British racing. By September 1925 Banstead Manor was in the hands of Henry Morriss, who had won the 1925 Epsom Derby with Manna (SR 2028) and was keen to stand him at his newly acquired Banstead Manor Stud. In May 1920 Soham House was offered for sale by Captain and Lady Edith Windham.

May 1920-September 1949 Lord Queenborough, Dorothy Paget
Almeric Hugh Paget, born on 14th March 1861, was the sixth and youngest son of Lord Alfred Paget, and became a Conservative MP and industrialist. He was a very successful sportsman, winning the Cannes to Monte Carlo yacht race in 1902, and the Tsar's prize at Cowes in 1903. On 12th November 1895 he married the wealthy American heiress Pauline Payne Whitney at St Thomas's Church in New York City, and the marriage produced two children, Olive Cecilia, born in 1899, and Dorothy Wyndham, born in 1905. The family had moved to England by the turn of the century, but his wife, Pauline, tragically died in the middle of the First World War on 22nd November 1916. On 18th January he was raised to the peerage to become 1st Baron Queenborough, while in May 1920 he bought Soham House as a base for him to pursue his racing interests. He won the 1922 2000 Guineas with St Louis (SR 1925) trained by Peter Gilpin and ridden by George Archibald. Baron Queenborough died on 22nd September 1949.
1922 2000 Guineas ST LOUIS (SR 1925) 6/1 owned by 1st Baron Queenborough, trained by Peter P Gilpin and ridden by George Archibald

1926 Mr & Mrs Huntley Walker
On Tuesday 22nd June 1926 tragedy struck Soham House when a fire broke out in a bedroom, and the tenant Mrs Huntley Walker, a well-known racehorse owner, died as a result of the fire. The fire was caused by her when the hairwash she used came into contact with an electric light, probably electrocuting her, certainly causing a fire in which her hair was completely burned off. Although a gardener spotted the fire and broke into the bedroom, he was unable to save her and she died at the scene. The couple had leased Soham House from Lord Queenborough for a few months so that they could attend Newmarket races. Both were keen horseracing enthusiasts, and only a few weeks before the incident she had owned Hidennis, winner of the 1926 Chester Cup.
1926 February Hurdle at Newbury HIDENNIS 2/5 fav owned by Mrs Huntley Walker, trained by Harvey Leader and ridden by Tom Leader
1926 Chester Cup HIDENNIS 11/2, owned by Mr Huntley Walker, trained by Harvey Leader and ridden by J Caldwell

newmarket 1918e.JPG (26765 bytes) Newmarket 1940.JPG (18535 bytes) newmarket 1948e.JPG (10601 bytes)

1950 Mary Constance Hamilton Gosling
In October 1950 the Honourable Mary Constance Hamilton Gosling, of Soham House, wife of Edward Lambert Gosling, died aged just 47, leaving a will of £69,226 gross, equivalent to £5.3 million in 2020. In her will she requested that all her dogs be humanely destroyed, leaving all of her racehorses, yearlings, foals and mares to Mrs Eileen Cutlack.

1926-1960 Dorothy Paget
Dorothy Wyndham Paget, born on 21st February 1905, was the younger daughter of Lord Queenborough and Pauline Payne Whitney. She came of age on 21st February 1926 when she was reported to have received a cheque for £1 million, equivalent to £60 million in 2020. However, this was just a fraction of her eventual worth, said to be at least £100 million, equivalent to £6 billion in 2020. Her father, Lord Queenborough, had purchased Soham House, Newmarket in 1920, just one of many properties the family owned. Dorothy stayed at Soham House on a number of occasions during frequent visits to the races, although she did not reside at the house full time, spending most of her time at Chalfont St Giles, and her last recorded visit was in 1952. Dorothy was an incredibly lucky owner, which is not surprising given her unbelievable wealth. She won the Cheltenham Gold Cup 7 times, including 5 consecutive wins by Golden Miller from 1932 to 1936. She won the Champion Hurdle 4 times, including consecutive wins by Insurance in 1932 and 1933. Se captured the 1934 Grand National with Golden Miller and the Wartime 1943 New Derby with Straight Deal (SR 2051). She died on 9th February 1960, and shortly afterwards Soham House became the Horse Racing Forensic Laboratory.

1932 Cheltenham Gold Cup GOLDEN MILLER 13/2 owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Ted Leader
1932 Champion Hurdle INSURANCE 4/5 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Ted Leader
1933 Cheltenham Gold Cup GOLDEN MILLER 4/7 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Billy Stott
1933 Champion Hurdle INSURANCE 10/11 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Billy Stott
1934 Cheltenham Gold Cup GOLDEN MILLER 6/5 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Gerry Wilson
1934 Grand National GOLDEN MILLER 8/1 owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Gerry Wilson
1935 Cheltenham Gold Cup GOLDEN MILLER 1/2 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Gerry Wilson
1936 Cheltenham Gold Cup GOLDEN MILLER 21/20 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Basil Briscoe and ridden by Evan Williams
1940 Cheltenham Gold Cup ROMAN HACKLE evens fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Owen Anthony and ridden by Evan Williams
1940 Champion Hurdle SOLFORD 5/2 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Owen Anthony and ridden by Sean Magee
1943 Wartime New Derby at Newmarket STRAIGHT DEAL (SR 2051) 100/6 owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Walter Nightingall and ridden by Tommy Carey
1946 Champion Hurdle DISTEL 4/5 fav owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Charles Rogers and ridden by Bobby Ryan
1952 Cheltenham Gold Cup MONT TREMBLANT 8/1 owned by Dorothy Paget, trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Dave Dick

1963-1996 Horse Racing Forensic Laboratory
In 1963 Soham House was transformed into offices and laboratories for use as the Horse Racing Forensic Laboratory, now the LGC Group. Over the next 30 years it carried out important research, welcomed HRH The Princess Royal in 1970, and visits by HM Queen Elizabeth II. It then moved to its current location in Fordham.

1997-present Private residential House
In 1997 it was restored back to a residential dwelling, and was purchased by Robert and Tracy Barrett in 2001.

Top 5 horses of all time of owners associated with Soham House
GOLDEN MILLER (1932-36 Cheltenham Gold Cup, 1934 Grand National)
STRAIGHT DEAL (1943 New Derby)
DISRAELI (1898 2000 Guineas)
ST LOUIS (1922 2000 Guineas)
HIDENNIS (1926 Chester Cup)
© John Slusar 2020

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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