|Racing is known to have taken place in the Streatham area
of London since 1868 and lasted for a period of 10 years. The earliest recorded meeting
was in March 1868 near Lonesome Farm. There is little evidence left today of the previous
existence of a racecourse as it is buried beneath a sprawling housing estate. The Farm,
owned by Edwin Ive, was taken over by Croyden Steeple Chase Committee in 1867 and they
organised up to five two day meetings a year for the next 10 years.
The meetings consisted of some flat races and some steeplechases, and there is evidence that these were run on separate courses. The prinicipal race was the Norbury Plate. Such was the popularity of the course that racegoers thronged in their thousands by train, and yet on the same train the horses travelled. Hence, there was a need for a slope at the junction so that the horses could embark. To this day the slopes exist.
Many thanks to Richard English for this rare scan of a Streatham racecard from his local area.
The racecourse was always popular with the ill-disciplined and that, in the end, was its downfall. The final meeting was held in 1879 and the races came to an untimely end when the Racecourse Licensing Act put a ban on racing within 10 miles of London.
The final meeting took place on 14th April 1879.
For further research the book STREATHAM RACES ( ISBN 1 873520 03 4 ) by John W Brown and published by Local History Publications is well worth a read.