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Greyhound, Horse, Athletics, Shooting, Boxing

Byker Racecourse

54.967966, -1.563625

St Anthony's, Walker







Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

23 May 2023

HER Description

NEHL - Byker Racecourse was formed here around the 1890s, with various sports played here. The town plan of Newcastle surveyed in 1906 shows the racecourse with a cinder track and stand on an open field. This would indicate either athletics, greyhounds or equine-based sports took place here.

It appears Harness Racing took place here in 1899, with a "Trotting Handicap" in August 1899. Harness racing is similar to what you might think of chariot racing, and trotting horses were often used for this sport. For this race day there were 4 races, with 3 heats and a final with a prize upwards of £20.

There was a £30 120 yards foot handicap in 1902 as reported by the Newcastle Journal. It appears this may have been foot running as only the entrants names are cited. This is confirmed in a handicap in 1907, which states there was a "large entry of runners" at another 120 yards handicap.

Greyhound races , a "small dog match" and a "dog sweep" are also reported in the Chronicle of 1919. £42 would be given for 32 greyhounds.

Pigeon shooting was held here in 1913. A report in the Newcastle Journal states a sweepstakes was held, though the largest event was dropped due to "unfavourable conditions". There was a disappointing amount of competitors as a result. This was the 22nd annual shoot held by Mr Howlden of Newcastle.

Boxing was also held here. An event took place in August 1908, featuring Ponto Dixon of Gateshead v Paddy Morton of Blyth, Veitch of Gateshead v Jones of Gateshead, Thompson v Smith of Gateshead and Barrat of Blaydon v Marshall of Wrekenton.

Various reports of illegal gambling also took place here. The Chronicle of October 1899 states Thomas Campbell and John White were both sentenced to one month inboard and prison for gambling at the racecourse. It cites this is how they made their living.

Ordnance Survey

Byker Racecource on the 1890s Town Plan.

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

The northern periphery of Byker racecourse today.

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

Byker Racecource on the 1890s Town Plan

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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