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Earliest meeting: March 1760
Final meeting: Thursday 1st April 1909

There is evidence of racing in Lincolnshire before 1760, as the Historical List of Races of 1760 reported that Plates previously run at Louth were discontinued. Louth is a market town within the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire and is commonly known as the capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds, today boasting a population just short of 16,000. It is on the River Lud and its claim to fame is that it lies on the Greenwich Meridian.  Moving forward almost 80 years, the first occasion that races were billed as Louth and South Wold Steeplechases was in 1838, a relationship which lasted for over 70 years. The Louth racecourse was said to be particularly challenging and included Hallington Brook, every bit as challenging as the more illustrious Becher’s Brook. The South Wold Hunt was a very nomadic group, hosting races at Louth, Brackenborough, Hallington and Horncastle. However, it did go through a torrid period in the late 1860s, particulary at the meeting held on Stanmore Hill on Friday 16th April 1869. The press were scathing in commenting, ‘ The meeting was a faint resemblance of what the South Wold Steeplechases have been in the past, with missing characters, small fields and two walk-overs’. However, the main race of the day, the United Hunt Stakes, did have a decent field and was won by Mr J J Clarke’s Royal Vale. In 1890 the Committee sought a change of venue from their two well-chosen courses and opted for a course just a mile from Louth in Brackenborough. The course, with a circumference of a mile and a half, was left handed with a furlong and a half run in. South Wold Hunt steeplechases continued to be held at the ‘new’ Louth course, alternating with nearby Horncastle, although the final meeting at Horncastle was staged on Wednesday 15th April 1903, while the last at Brackenborough took place on Thursday 13th April 1905. South Wold Hunt held its final meeting under rules on Thursday 1st April 1909, continuing for many years afterwards as a point to point meeting.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lady Berner, Captain J D Edwards, Mr Grantham
Principal Races South Wold Hunt Chase, Keddington Chase, Southwold Hunters Stakes

Wednesday 11th September 1833

Southwold Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Lady Charlotte owned by Mr Munro
2. Unnamed colt by Oscar owned by Lady Berner

Southwold Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Ploughboy owned by Mr Smith
2. Young Tristram owned by Mr Pierson
3. Atlas owned by Mr Blake

Thursday 10th March 1836

Louth Stakes
1. Bumpkin owned by Mr W Whiteworth
2. Heathen owned by Mr Nicholson
3. Madcap owned by Mr Grantham

Friday 16th April 1869
United Hunt Stakes over 3 miles
1. Royal Vale, chestnut gelding owned by Mr J J Clarke
2. Swinhope, brown gelding owned by Mr G A Oliver
3. Prosperine, bay mare owned by Mr G Walker

The final meeting took place on Thursday 1st April 1909.
Course today

At a range of courses from Louth and Brackenborough to Horncastle.

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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