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Stockton Racecourse

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Teesside Park retail complex, built on the site of the old Stockton Racecourse

Stockton Racecourse (September 1855 - 16 June 1981), also known as Teesside Park, was a British horse racing venue near Thornaby-on-Tees in the North Riding of Yorkshire England, once considered "the finest in the north". Although named "Stockton Racecourse" there has never been a racecourse within Stockton-on-Tees, these courses were actually located across the River Tees in the North Riding of Yorkshire".[1] In the early 1800s two alteration's were made to the river Tees, the Mandale Cut and the Portrack cut. This caused the land of the racecourse north of the Tees (County Durham) to therefore became North Yorkshire, and the Yorkshire side of the river to become part of County Durham. The largest of these cuts was the Portrack cut. Due to the memory of the land being north of the Tees when the course was named it became Stockton Racecourse.

Through the years, racing took place at three sites. The first of these was at Thornaby Carrs in the North Riding of Yorkshire, to the north of Thornaby Village where racing first took place in 1724.[2] Racing was then discontinued for many years, before being revived in September 1855 at Mandale Marshes, situated on a loop in the River Tees.[3] The Mandale course had two stands - the Stewards Stand and the Grand Stand. In three days racing in 1864, the attendance was 36,000 Thornaby hosted only flat racing until the opening of the national hunt course in 1967, which was 38 yards wide and cost about £40,000. The flat course was a left-handed oval, slightly under 1 mile 6 furlongs round, with easy turns and a home straight of 4 furlongs. The starts for 5 furlong and 6 furlong races were on separate spurs. The national hunt course was just over 1 mile 4 furlongs, with 9 fences.[4]

At one time, local factories closed down especially for race week.[5] However, the course went into decline after World War II, losing out to the competing attractions of cinema and TV. It finally closed on 16 June 1981 due to falling attendances. The last winner was a horse called Suniti.[6]

The site is now a shopping centre called Teesside Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heavisides 1865, p. 133.
  2. ^ a b "Stockton Racecourse". greyhoundderby.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Burning Questions: A high place in a town's history". Northern Echo. 14 January 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  4. ^ Tote Investors Limited. The Tote Racing Annual 1966.
  5. ^ a b "Stockton Racecourse". Picture Stockton Archive. 1 February 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b "In pictures: Racecourse of the past and the future". BBC. Retrieved 2 May 2013.