Racecourse, 1-13 Blessington Street

Written by
Map showing location of course ca. 1866 Map showing location of course ca. 1866 H. G. de Gruchy & Co , New Borough Map Melbourne District

 

Other names:

St Kilda Cup (from 2 January 1850), Village Belle races

Date began:

1st January 1847

Instigator:

Frank Liardet

Description:

A bush course on which a mostly two day event was held, located on Crown land between Blessington Street and the Point Ormond, once a year.

History:

St Kilda Racecourse was located at the southern end of Peanut Farm Reserve. Races, including the St Kilda Cup, were in late December and early January from 1848-1868. Surrounded by swampland, the boggy course was often problematic for horses and riders. However it was a convenient distance from town and so it became popular with race-goers. On Boxing Day 1866, over 3000 people attended. [from CPP Heritage plaque] The last race was held on 26 December 1868.

Stewards:

1850 - J. Henderson, M. Chitty

 

 

Source

Description or [note]

1. Melbourne Argus 1846.12.22 p.2

Petty Sessions - Temporary Licenses

Mr Frank Liardet applied for a temporary license for the sale of fermented and spirituous liquors upon the race course, between the beach and St Kilda, on the 1st and 2nd January next. Granted.

2. Argus 1847.01.01 p.2

New Year's Day

This being the first day of the New Year, 1847, a variety of amusements will come off at the Beach, which has been got up for the occasion by Liardet, there will be also racing on the course between the Beach and St Kilda, for saddle and bridle, silver-headed whip, &c.

3.  Belle's Life 1848.01.15p.2

The St Kilda Races

"All the world and his wife", as the saying is, whereat the St Kilda on Tuesday last (Jan 4) to witness the races. [there follows a description of the event and winners].

4. Argus 1848.12.26 p.3

District Petty Sessions, Saturday December 23rd 1848

Mr John Stephen applied to the Bench on behalf of Messrs. J. Howard, D. Meany, D. Barry, W. Blannin, P. Sheedy, and M. Sheedy, licensed victuallers, that they be allowed to sell spirits at the St Kilda on the occasion of the approaching Races. …The application was granted, subject to the same restrictions as in the case of the Melbourne Races.

5. Argus 1849.12.29 p.1

 Advertising

[description of races and rules] Stewards: J. Henderson, M. Chitty
6. Argus 1850.01.03 p.2

St Kilda Races

[results of first days races, including the 1st St Kilda Cup which was won by Mt Thomas Sibering's Honi Heki]

7. Argus 1869.01.02 p.11

St Kilda Annual Races

Saturday last saw a large crowd assembled on the beach below St Kilda to witness the Village Belle races; but although there were above 4,000 people present, we do not believe that more than ten per cent of them cared for the races… [description of the results of the last recorded event held at this location]

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a resident and practicing architect in St Kilda for over 33 years. He comes from a long line of architects, engineers and builders going back at least 5 generations with various branches of his family having lived in the South Melbourne and St Kilda area since 1859.

He has researched and written on a range of architectural and local history subjects, and has contributed to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture.

Peter has acted as the Society's heritage officer since 2002 and was its president from 2009 until 2015.

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