Racecourse Architecture

Paul Roberts and Isabelle Taylor
Acanthus Press, 2013

Two hundred and fifty years ago, a young architect by the name of John Carr began a glittering career by designing a grandstand at York Racecourse in England. This was not merely York’s first grandstand, nor was it only the first grandstand of any thoroughbred racecourse, but – in the modern sense of the building type – it was the first grandstand of any sports discipline anywhere in the world. 

The architecture of thoroughbred racecourses has featured but seldom in the chronicles of sporting architecture or in the plentiful literature about racing. Racecourse Architecture sets out to redress this neglect. Racecourses are the stage upon which the drama of the thoroughbred is played out, and their buildings are the scenery. The book charts the hitherto untold story of the grandstands, clubhouses, saddling sheds, totalisators and other associated structures that evoke in bricks and mortar the rich history of thoroughbred racing from across the world. 

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