York Racecourse: Rebuilding the Northern End

Paul Roberts and Isabelle Taylor

Founded in 1731, York Racecourse is one of the oldest theatres of British sport, and one of the most esteemed. It is regarded internationally for the calibre of its racing, and has played host to some of the world’s most legendary thoroughbreds – Eclipse, The Flying Dutchman, Frankel. Yet, it is also distinguished by the quality and prestige of its physical environment.

It was at York that modern sporting architecture had its genesis, for it was here, in 1756, that the world’s first grandstand was completed. In the succeeding two-and-a-half centuries, each generation has added to the racecourse’s panorama of buildings and landscapes resulting in a unique visual tapestry. This book is the story of the most recent chapter in this evolution.

In 2013, York Racecourse embarked upon a transformative redevelopment of the northern end of the racecourse, comprising the pre-parade ring, weighing room building and spectator hospitality, to improve the York experience for the horses that race there, as well as those that look after them, ride them and watch them race. Published to commemorate the completion of the two-year, £10-million scheme, this book narrates the story of this ambitious project.

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