Manchester Racecourse was a former racecourse in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Manchester Racecourse moved several times but remained within Salford in the 19th and 20th centuries. It closed in 1963 and the site has been redeveloped for other uses; namely student accommodation and playing fields.
Racing had been staged on Kersal Moor, Salford, from the 17th century. In 1847 the racecourse was moved across the River Irwell to a site located on a meander of the River Irwell known as Castle Irwell. Racing was held there until 1867. The racecourse then moved to New Barns, Weaste, which was active from 1876 to 1901. In 1902 the New Barnes course was sold for development and racing moved back to Castle Irwell which hosted both flat racing and National Hunt racing.
Manchester traditionally staged the final fixture of the British flat racing season, with the highlight being the Manchester November Handicap. When the course closed in 1963 the fixture was transferred to Doncaster Racecourse. The last race staged was won by the jockey Lester Piggot.
Manchester staged British racing's first evening fixture on 13 July 1951; and a stand built in 1961 was the site of the first private boxes at a British sports venue.
The racecourse closed after the final meeting on 7 November 1963 and the majority of the Castle Irwell site was put up for sale. The University of Salford was interested in purchasing the site and opposed its sale to a property development company; this was supported by the City of Salford who wished to use part of the site for playing fields.
In 1973 the University of Salford bought the majority of the site and its buildings for £46,000. The land was used to construct a student village.Template:Coord/display/title,inline The Members Stand was retained to became an entertainment venue known as the Pavilion or the Pav. It is run by the University of Salford Students' Union.
A concrete bridge was built across the River IrwellTemplate:Coord/input/dec allowing access to the northern end of the site from Kersal flats. This area of Castle Irwell, which was separated off from the university site, was developed as public playing fields.
- Kersal Moor
- River Irwell
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