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Horse, Football, Bull Baiting

Sunderland Town Moor Racecourse

54.908058, -1.364746








Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

24 Feb 2023

HER Description

The earliest recorded organised sport in Sunderland was horse racing on the Town Moor from at least 1724 until the 1740s. A map of Sunderland's Town Moor dating to 1750 shows the triangular racecourse. Race days were known as 'Horsecourse' days. The horse races attracted large crowds. Horse racing restarted again in 1835 at Tunstall Hope on land owned by George Skipsey. The Sunderland Borough Races only lasted at Tunstall Hope for ten years due to local opposition. During the 1850s the races took place at Southwick. In 1898 they moved to Grindon. An oval grass track was laid out on land owned by Colonel Vaux. The last horse race was in 1906.

The Town Moor was also a bedrock of 19th century association football. A swathe of teams used the common ground here, including East End Black Watch and Erin Star to compete in the Wearside Leagues. Records also show bull baiting took place here.

Ordnance Survey

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

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'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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