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Chester Racecourse Quality Chester Racecourse Quality 16th Century Roodee Racecourse

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Chester Racecourse The Roodee Chester Racecourse

Chester Races 2018

9th May 2018 - 29th September 2018
Chester Racecourse Fixtures 1
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Chester Racecourse Events
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Chester Racecourse Fixtures
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Chester Races May Festival

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Inside Track

The oldest Racecourse in Britain

65 acres
Chester Race Company Limited, The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY
01244 304 600

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Race Day Information

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The Name 'Roodee'

Chester Races Roodee Ancient Cross Base

The name 'roodee' came from the fact that there was a cross or in Anglo-Saxon a 'rood' in the middle of the racecourse. This was taken down in the middle ages. The base of the cross was removed but then reinstated. It can be seen today as a sandstone square base and part of the shaft. The second part of the name refers to the 'eye' or island. Because a long time ago the land was recovered from mud banks on the edge of the river Dee.


The City Walls

The Roodee is located at the end of Watergate Street to the South-West on the City Walls.


'On St Georges Day 1539 In the time of Henry Gee, Mayor of the King's city of Chester, in the XXXI year of King Henry Eighth, a bell of silver, to the value of 111s 1111d, is ordained to be the reward of that horse which shall run before all others" - The Roodee 450 years of racing in Chester by R.M. Bevan.

Organised racing on the Roodee at Chester began in 1540. The races were held on shove Tuesday until 1609, when the date was changed to St George's Day (23 April). The prize was a bell of silver made by the Chester Goldsmiths Company. At first the winner had to return the prize after a year. But in the early 17th Century the winner was allowed to keep it.

In 1623 the silver bell was replaced by a silver cup worth 8. The corporation and the guilds supported the races in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

From 1744 the head of the Grosvenor family annually gave a gold tumbler cup worth 50 as a prize at the May races. These cups became smaller as the price of gold rose. From 1801 - 1830 when the Grosvenor family stopped giving prizes, silver and gold trophies took their place.

The below cup is on display in the Ridgway Silver Gallery in the Grosvenor Museum.

Grosvenor Cup

Quick Facts

"The Roodee was deemed part of Holy Trinity Parish, but it could not be tithed because it was land recovered from the sea.".

"Roman burials have been discovered so have two silver Roman denarii"

"A Roman tomb was discovered in 1874 thought to date from 90AD. It contained two skeletons one with a gold ring."

"In 1533 football was banned and from 1539 the Shoemakers provided six silver arrowheads as an award for a foot-race".

"In 1441 the rival gaolers from the Castle and the Northgate settled their differences with a fist fight on the Roodee".

"At the foot of the city wall by Nun's Road close to the Roodee, is some substantial masonry thought to have been part of the Roman quay wall. It is now thought to be footings for a Roman landing stage which reached across the river so that ships could dock at low tide.

Chester Racecourse 1 Chester Racecourse 2 Chester Racecourse 3

Chester Racecourse, The City Walls Chester Racecourse, The Grosvenor Bridge Chester Racecourse, Sign Post

The Roman Quay

In Roman times the river lapped against the City Walls. This is where the remains of a Roman Quay wall can still be seen. In 1886 a pig of Roman lead weighing 87 KG or 192 lbs was found deep below the surface of the Roodee. It is on display in the Grosvenor museum.

Chester Racecourse, Roman Lead Pig

Chester Racecourse, Roman Quay 1 Chester Racecourse, Roman Quay 2
Chester Racecourse, Roman Quay 3 Chester Racecourse, Roman Quay 4

A reconstruction from the Grosvenor Museum of how the Quay would have looked in Roman times.

Chester Racecourse, Roman Quay 4

After Race Party

Chester Races After Race Party

Decorative Fairs
The very best fairs for vintage fashion, antique textiles and accessories

Antiques Fair

Antiques Fair

Chester Races Hotels

Express by Holiday Inn
Express By Holiday Inn
Chester Racecourse
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Movie Clip

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The M53, M56, M6 ,A483 are all in close proximity to Chester providing excellent links from Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales and the south of England. The Racecourse is signposted from all the major routes into Chester.

Chester Station is 20-30 minutes walk from the Racecourse through the picturesque Chester City Centre, or a just a short taxi ride.

Call 01244 522 012 Hawarden Airport, Deeside for Helicopter / Light Aircraft landing facilities. Helicopters are allowed to land on the racecourse by prior consent with the Racecourse.


Chester Racecourse Polo Club is now firmly established on the British polo circuit and socially as one of the premier events in the Northwest. The Coutts International Polo Weekend, now in its fifth year, has become the polo club's flagship tournament, with teams competing to win 10,000 in prize money.
Unusually for such a high-profile sport, prize money is rare, so the prize pot certainly attracts some of the best players in the world, with two past and present Captains of the England team and many international players doing battle on the field.
We welcome you to come and experience the glitz and glamour of polo on the picturesque Roodee. Enjoying either the hospitality in the exclusive Sponsors' and Players' Enclosure, or just come along and bring a picnic - both make for a memorable day.
General admission: 5, with children under 16 Free
Gates open at 12 pm
For further information, please contact
Melanie Simm
01244 304 615

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Show Jumping

The Charles Stanley British Masters International
Chester Race Course

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Badges for the stands

Badges for the stands

Chester Races walls sign

Conference and Events

Art Deco Fairs

Enquiries 07809 236 607!/profile.php?id=100000827825677&ref=ts
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Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse

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Public Transport

Chester Racecourse is five minute black cab taxi ride away from Chester Railway Station. The cost is about 5.
Chester Racecourse is about a five minute walk from Chester City Centre at the Cross via Watergate Street.

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