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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 18th June 1800
Final meeting: Thursday 14th March 1872
The Cumbrian market town of Wigton lies on the outer part of the Lake District in the Solway Plain. The town has a rich history and can trace its origins back to Roman times when there was a Roman cavalry station called Maglona on the outskirts of the village. The town held its own series of race meetings for over 70 years, starting with a three day meeting on the race ground from Wednesday 18th to Friday 20th June 1800. The first day started with a £50 Match and the last day finished with a trotting race. Meetings continued intermittently for 36 years. The two day card in 1802 consisted of four matches and the Wigton Purse which saw Mr White’s bay filly beat Mr Johnson’s bay mare. The two day meeting on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st August 1829 moved to a new course at Kirkrigg, and two Gala Days of racing and wrestling were organised on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September 1832 despite the Board of Health objecting to the meeting ‘on account of the danger of drawing together a great crowd of vagrants as usually attend places of amusement at a time when Cholera is raging’. The opening Sweepstake was won by Mr Teasdale’s Village Maid, while two later Sweepstakes were claimed by Mr Benson’s Peggy. Racing lapsed in 1836, but a revival meeting took place on Wednesday 27th May 1857 on the grandly named Goodwood Racecourse, near Moorhouse, owned by Mr Henderson, when the Goodwood Stakes went to Mr Atkinson’s Little Fanny in front of Flatcatcher and Mattim. Races continued on this course for the next 15 years until a final card was staged on Thursday 14th March 1872.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Henderson, Mr John Gate and Mr R Grantham (Stewards)
Principal Races Wigton Stakes, Goodwood Stakes

Friday 7th September 1832
Wigton Sweepstakes
1. Village Maid, bay mare owned by Mr Teasdale
2. Wanton, chestnut colt owned by Mr Jenning
3. Serina, bay mare owned by Mr Murray

The final meeting took place on 14th March 1872.

Course today Initially on the raceground, then Kirkrigg and finally at Goodwood racecourse (but not as we know it!)
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

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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  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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