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The first meeting took place in 1804 with the course being on Southampton Common near ‘The Avenue’ and Rood Church. The course was described as a straight course down the length of the common, and was an elongated oval of circumference 12 furlongs with a dip just after the start and a considerable hill near the finish. The sprints were run on the straight which extended to 5 furlongs. It had a large, handsome stand which allowed for views across the entire course, but also enabled punters to see the hills of the Isle of Wight. Details of the second meeting to have taken place at the course are shown below.

Local Patrons

Lord Palmerston, Marquis of Lansdown, South Hants Yeomanry Guards

Principal Races Southampton Cup, Ladies Plate, Town Plate, Members Plate

Wednesday 31st July to Friday 2nd August 1805

Southampton Cup over 3 miles
1. Woodcot owned by Mr Branthwayt
2. Wren owned by Mr Sutton

Southampton Ladies Plate over 3 miles
1. Principle owned by Mr Fermot
2. Virgin owned by Mr Abbot
3. Glorianna owned by Lord Stawell

Maquis of Lansdown Maiden Stakes over 3 miles
1. Southton owned by Mr Branthwayt
2. Wren owned by Mr Sutton
3. Peregrine Pickle owned by Mr Sadler

Thursday 12th August to Friday 13th August 1824

Southampton Town Plate over 3 miles
1. Biondetta owned by Lord Palmerston
2. Champion owned by Mr Farquharson
3. Augustin owned by Mr Fleming

Southampton Stakes over 2 miles
1. Lazbarough owned by Lord Palmerston walked over

Southampton Members Plate over 2 miles
1. Milto owned by Mr F Craven
2. Isabella owned by Mr W West
3. Unnamed colt out of Augusta owned by Mr Fleming

James Whyte’s History of the British Turf notes that Southampton racecourse was situated on Southampton Common on land owned by the Corporation, and records the August 1839 races as :-
Southampton Stakes and Two Members Plates.

The final meeting was on 28th June 1881 and the stewards at the meeting were the Earl of Hardwicke and the Marquis of Angelsey.

Course today  

I am grateful to John Hodges for recommending the following links:

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:-

The Hampshire Advertiser

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