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Earliest meeting: Monday 18th September 1780
Final meeting: Monday 23rd March 1840
The West Midlands town of Solihull, located 8 miles south east of Birmingham city centre, first held a two day race meeting on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th September 1780. The meeting took place at Lewd (Lode) Heath, offering a 50 Guineas Purse over 3 miles on each of the two days. However, there was a sting in the tail because the owners of the winners had to contribute 45 guineas to the Purse for the following year’s races. It is therefore of little wonder that this was the only meeting to take place in the town for over 50 years. After a prolonged period without racing, a meeting took place on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th September 1835 on a new course, about a mile in length, close to Oulton (Olton) Reservoir. The principal race on day one was the Birmingham Cup, over 2 miles, which was won by Mr Fowler’s Coquette, while the following day the Hampton Coppice Silver Cup, also over 2 miles, went to Antelope for Mr Barber. After the races had ended a dinner was served, to gentlemen only, at the George Inn. At the meeting on Monday 22nd August 1836 it was estimated that a crowd in excess of 10000 witnessed the Trial Stakes go to Mr Barton’s sister to Presto, while the next day in the Solihull Stakes Jewess defeated Tom Leedham. In April 1837 MPs for North Warwickshire sponsored a race by adding £40 to the prize fund.  The final meeting, billed as ‘Birmingham and Solihull races’, took place on Monday 23rd March 1840 when there was a three race card, but only nine horses were present. It was a dismal end to a venture which promised so much only four years before this date.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons North Warwickshire MPs
Principal Races Birmingham Stakes, Hampton Coppice Silver Cup

Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th September 1835

Birmingham Stakes over 2 miles
1. Coquette owned by Mr Fowler

Hampton Coppice Silver Cup over 2 miles
1. Antelope owned by Mr Barber

After a prolonged period without racing, a meeting took place on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th September 1835 on a new course, about a mile in length, close to Oulton (Olton) Reservoir.

Friday 1st September 1837
Solihull Stakes over twice round and the distance
1. Mackarel, bay mare owned by Mr Briendley
2. Indus, bay colt owned by Mr Peter
3. Miss Lloyd, 6 year old owned by Mr Thurlow

The final meeting took place on Monday 23rd March 1840.
Course today On Lewd Heath. Lode Heath is at the apex of Warwick Road (B425) and Lode Lane (B4102), and the land is now covered by Milcote Road housing estate. The Olton Reservoir still exists and the racecourse was off St Bernard’s Road near West Warwickshire Sports Club.
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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