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Chester Races 1912 copied courtesy of R.M. Bevan1 14 March 2019

480 Years of Racing at the Roodee Exhibition – could you be part of it?

New free exhibition to launch at the Chester Grosvenor Museum

Once likened to racing on ‘green velvet’ by jockey Lester Piggott, Chester’s hallowed Roodee turf is uniquely positioned at the heart of the city of Chester. With less than 50 days to go until a new season of racing at Chester, and as the racecourse celebrates another milestone in its illustrious history, a new exhibition at the Chester Grosvenor Museum will soon open to commemorate 480 years of racing at Chester.

Opening on Saturday 20 April, this exhibition explores the origins and heritage of the oldest racecourse still in operation in Great Britain, if not the world. Members of the public are invited to visit the exhibition and learn the fascinating story of the evolution of the racecourse and its famous site which dates back to the Roman period. From archaeological excavations and racing firsts, to tales of legend and stories of gallant victors – the timeline of the Roodee paints a rich tapestry that will stand the test of time.

Chief Executive Officer of Chester Race Company, Richard Thomas said:

“Many will be aware of some of the more famous facts, faces and stories of the Roodee and we are thrilled that a fascinating collective narrative of the racecourse’s history will be brought to life this year to commemorate 480 years. We are proud to have built a strong relationship with the museum and celebrate our connection with the city of Chester and its people.”

Running the duration of the 2019 Chester racing season, members of the public along with racegoers visiting the city are invited to enjoy this exciting exhibition and even get involved by imparting their own mementos or memories into the narrative. The museum is interested in hearing from anyone who holds anything, from race badges, programmes and photographs to hats and fascinators from the past 480 years.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West and Chester Council, added:

“Our Corporate Sponsorship Scheme started in September last year and businesses can play a vital role in developing arts and culture. The new Partnership Scheme is helping to safeguard an essential part of Chester’s Heritage for current and future generations.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this new exhibition telling the story of the oldest racecourse still in operation in the country.”

Get involved

To be part of the story, email: or telephone: 01244 972197 before the end of March.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the chance to leave their story for others to read and a digital capsule will be made public via the Chester Racecourse website once the exhibition closes at the end of September.

For more information visit the museum website here

Entrance to the museum is free, but object as well as monetary donations are gladly welcomed.
Photo credit: R.M. Bevan

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