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

Museum & Galleries: Tues - Sat, 10am to 5pm. Sun, 11pm to 4pm.

Café: Mon - Sat 10am to 4pm. Sun, 11am to 3.30pm

Visitor Information Mon - Wed, 9am to 6pm Thurs, 9am to 8pm Fri, 9am to 6pm Sat, 9am to 5pm Sun, 10am to 4pm

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