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Earliest meeting: September 1754
Final meeting: Tuesday 15th August 1876
Walsall is a large industrial town in the West Midlands located 8 miles from Birmingham and 6 miles from Wolverhampton. It first staged races as early as 1754 on the Long Meadow. The land was owned by Lord Bradford who was obliged to allow the freeholders of the parish to feed and graze cattle from Lammas Day to Candlemas. The mile long oval racecourse was sufficiently close to the town centre to be accessible and had a stiff hill for the first furlong and a half, but then flattened to a straight run-in of 4 furlongs. While the exact date of the 1754 meeting is not known, 3 days of festivities did take place from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th September 1755 with a Match run on the Friday when each horse carried 18 stone. A comment at the time was that ‘races took place as normal’, implying they had been staged in 1754. In 1807 Lord Grey enjoyed a very good meeting when his bay filly Belinda won both the Corporation Purse and the Town Subscription Purse. At the 2 day meeting on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th September 1824 the Corporation Plate saw Niobe defeat Little Driver and Tripoli, while the next day the wonderfully named Ynysymaengwyn was beaten into second place in the Town Plate by Libertine. Races continued to be well supported for a further 52 years until a final 2 day meeting on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th August 1876. The concluding Town Welter Handicap Plate was won by Mr Hopwood’s Bloxwich. However, a meeting not under rules was staged on Monday 3rd August 1942.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Stamford, Captain Graham, Lord Grey
Principal Races Walsall Gold Cup, Walsall Town Plate, Corporation Plate

Thursday 19th September 1833
Gold Cup Stakes over 3 miles and the distance
1. Repentance, chestnut filly owned by Sir E D Scott
2. Manchester, bay horse owned by Mr S Wightwick
3. Wolverhampton, brown horse owned by Mr J Beardsworth

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 15th August 1876.
Course today Initially on Long Meadow on land owned by Lord Bradford.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

I am grateful to John Griffiths for allowing me to include these 2 scans of an extremely rare Walsall Racecard from his very select collection.

John Griffiths has written a remarkably detailed book of all of the race meetings that took place in Walsall and, despite the comprehensive records included in the book, has still managed to grip the reader with his supporting text.

(I am grateful to John Griffiths for granting permission for the front cover and map to be displayed on this website)

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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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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