NEWMARKET LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
The Society meets every third Tuesday of the month from September to April at 7.30 pm at The Stable, High Street Newmarket (unless otherwise noted) when we have a visiting speaker. During the summer months (except August) we usually arrange trips to local places of historic interest.
N.L.H.S. SITE INDEX
- Calendar of Events
- How to join NLHS
- Newmarket's Origins
- Newmarket and Horseracing
- Forthcoming events
- Recent Events
- Correspondence & Queries
- Family History research
- Local History & Other books
- Mystery Places
- The Workhouse/Institution
- Past Personalities
- View our Guest Book,
or add an entry
- Links to related sites
- Committee members
- Contact Us
Local Fire Tragedies Crime & punishment in the 19th century Memories of the Home Guard Memories of two World Wars The RAF in wartime Newmarket Alex Henshaw MBE Old Icewell Hill. The old Grosvenor Yard Musk's Newmarket sausages, history Woolworths history The Cinema in Newmarket Rous Road Architecture The History of the Telephone Service in Newmarket The Admiralty Shutter Telegraph Oaks Lodge/Park history The Houldsworth Valley Nissen Huts Russian Officers training in Newmarket The Railway comes to Newmarket
July 9th 2014. Newmarket's "Legends of the Turf" was launched at The Jockey Club.
It is walk of fame about Racing Legend characters connected with the town and features trainers/influential people, jockeys & horses.
The 6 slabs commemorate Sir Henry Cecil, Hyperion, Sir John Astley, Lester Piggott, Frankel & Fred Archer.
Three more will be added each year and people will be able to vote for the characters on the slabs.
NLHS Chair Sandra Easom has been personally involved with the project and our Society is giving it our full backing.
Local schools were invited to participate in the launching ceremony and the photo above shows the unveiling of the Hyperion tablet.
Photo S. Easom
July 25th 2014. Over the generations Newmarket has long been associated with Royal visitors, who came to the town for the racing and associated pleasures that this lively town provided.
Our latest website article, Personalities page No 10, deals with the Monarchs from James I onward who found Newmarket to their liking and who through their patronage had varying degrees of influence in shaping the town's future.
Please go to Personalities Page No 10
April 24th 2014. Sandra Easom has discovered on the internet a valuable document by Peter May, the well regarded Newmarket Historian. It is a potted history of Newmarket 500 years ago and was written prior to him publishing 'Newmarket Mediaeval & Tudor'. The document can now be read online select here
Please be aware that this is a pdf. document so you will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer and it could take a while to load, depending on your connection speed.
March 31st 2014. Our recent website article concerns a Newmarket trade name that has survived for 130 years and is still prospering. Musk's sausages have enjoyed a deserved reputation for quality and are recognised well outside the confines of Newmarket. Read about the complicated family relationships that bought the brand name from a small village butchery to Newmarket and how the business has evolved to the present day. select here March 2014. With Russia's involvement in the present unrest in Ukraine it may be a good time to look back at the Russian revolution and how the USSR came into existence. The fascinating part that Newmarket played is covered in our website. We had some lengthy correspondence with a Russian lady Evgenia Chernozatonskya, providing a very personal insight into how the momentous events of 1917 - 1920 affected her grandfather, who spent time in Newmarket. The correspondence has now been included as an addition to the article. select here. February 2014. The second half of the 19th century proved to be a very fertile period in Newmarket's history. The railway had brought much wealth and influence to the town, reinforcing its reputation as the 'Headquarters' of horseracing. Among the many great racing personalities associated with Newmarket during that time the name of Captain James Octavius Machell stands high. He is now featured as the ninth in our series of Newmarket Personalities of the Past. Select here January 2014. Thanks to various enthusiastic people, a great source of pictures from Newmarket and district's past, can be found on the Facebook site. You may have to be logged in to view the pictures. From the Facebook site search just enter 'Old Newmarket' to start the series and go to the albums. October 2013. NLHS member David Rippington is working on a website dealing with the history of Newmarket shops. More information will be added as it becomes available but the site is already proving a useful source of information on Newmarket history. Anyone with information on pre-war Newmarket shops is invited to contact David via his website. www.newmarketshops.info
December 2013. David has now added a history of Newnarket's racecourses which can be viewd at http://www.newmarketshops.info/Newmarkets_Racecourses.html
October 2013. Following the sell out of the first print of copies of the Society's book "The Bombing of Newmarket" we have had a limited reprint to meet orders that still come in. The book is now on sale again at price £11.50 (including p & p in the British Isles). It can be ordered by writing to our postal address: Newmarket Local History Society, c/o The Town Clerk, The Memorial Hall, High Street Newmarket CB8 8JP. Alternatively if you email this website (address at foot of this page) you will be contacted with details of how to make payment. For those who have not yet discovered the Francis Frith collection of photos of early to mid 20th century Newmarket take a look at Francis Frith's Newmarket Ninety one good quality photos that can be purchased if required. What a far sighted man to go around the country taking pictures of towns and villages that were fast changingCalendar of EventsAll events commence at 7.30 pm unless otherwise stated
No Meeting in August.
Tuesday 16th September Slide Show - Villages around Newmarket - Roger Newman.
How do I join the Newmarket Local History Society?
It is quite simple really, you may do so by attending one of the programmed meetings, the doors open at 7 pm, and you can then join whilst there, the cost is just £8 per head, or you may wish to visit for one evening without commitment, this will cost £2 and you can go away and decide.
NEWMARKET'S ORIGINS (notes provided by N.L.H.S Committee Member Sandra Easom)
Mention Newmarket and most people think of the pounding hooves of horses and rolling expanses of green turf. The town is justly famous for both of these but its very long and varied history goes far beyond what most people expect.
Unlike most mediaeval towns, Newmarket is not centred on either of its parish churches, St. Mary's or All Saints. Rather, it is centred on the initial reason for its existence - the ancient Icknield Way - the oldest road in Britain. Its route approximated to the present High Street. People have journeyed along the Icknield Way since the Stone Age when flint was mined in Grimes Graves in Norfolk and then supplied an extensive trade network.
The area where Newmarket now stands has springs of water and a small river which is essential for any settlement. Bronze Age barrows, showing evidence of early occupation, were scattered across Newmarket Heath until the 19th century when they were cleared to make better conditions for horse racing.
Later, nearby Exning was a main settlement of the Iceni tribe (best remembered for their famous Queen Boudicca or Boadicea who led a major rebellion against the Romans). The Iceni were renowned breeders of horses and dogs, so the Heath has probably seen many more races than we are aware of!
The area where the town now stands was given as dowry to Sir Richard de Argentein in 1200 A.D. when he married Cassandra, daughter of Robert de Insula, Lord of the manor of Exning. Sir Richard encouraged development of the town and was granted a charter for a market almost immediately by the King. In 1223 Newmarket received its first charter for an annual fair. It is important to note that the Plague arrived at Exning in 1227. Therefore, the Victorian theory that people left Exning to start a new town at Newmarket at this time cannot be true (although it is very persistent!).
Newmarket thrived because of its market and a lucrative trade in accommodating travellers and so it continued for centuries, until King James I "discovered" its Heath in February 1604 as a great leisure venue for his court and Newmarket's sporting associations began.....
NEWMARKET AND HORSERACING
The local history of Newmarket is inextricably tied up with the history of horseracing. The town is home to the National Horseracing Museum, at present situated in part of the Jockey Club building. An enlightening article on Newmarket's racing history and the work of the museum written by the former Museum Director, Hilary Bracegirdle appears on this site select article here
The museum also has a very good website of its own www.nhrm.co.uk where much information on Newmarket's racing past is available.
Newmarket Local History Society and the National Horseracing Museum have much in common in that we both receive many queries from people on topics related to horseracing. Often people wish to enquire about their forebears who were jockeys, or in some way connected to racing. As Hilary says in her article, it is difficult to trace individuals unless they were high profile personalities. The best approach for persuing ordinary family history queries is through the Bury St Edmunds County Records office (for Suffolk related queries) or The Cambridgeshire Family History Society (for the Cambridgeshire part of Newmarket). Both the Museum and our Society wish to be as helpful as possible and welcome any queries of general interest. Queries to the Museum should be addressed in writing to Graham Snelling, Curator, National Horseracing Museum, 99 High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8JS. Our Society's postal and e-mail addresses are given on page 3.
Next page (pg 2)
Site counter set to zero 27th October 2008
Website created and maintained by Rod Vincent (Silver surfer award winner 2004)
If this email link does not work you may need to copy and paste it into your email address