Canterbury's racecourse was on Barham Downs, a few miles outside the city, by the road to Dover.

During its heyday - approximately 1760 to 1820 - the races were a popular fixture in the area's social calendar. The course has now vanished, as has general awareness of its existence. Similarly, there were no views of it known to survive, apart from an engraving of the New Stand on a pair of silver pass tokens, and Rowlandson's picture is clearly a significant work in this context. It has value as a topographical record, confirming and drawing together the various strands of evidence - maps, texts, and the engraved pass tokens. Beyond this it captures a dynamic sense of period and occasion, with an immediacy of appeal.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

18 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2RA
01227 862162

Opening times

Monday - closed
Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm
Sunday - 12pm to 5pm

Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday 12noon to 4pm

Monday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm
Thursday 9am to 8pm
Friday 9am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm

Exhibitions at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

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