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Old 22nd November 2020, 15.31:04   #141-0 (permalink)
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Who actually owns the Turf now ?
Old 22nd November 2020, 17.27:09   #142-0 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Colonel D View Post
Who actually owns the Turf now ?
Wayne Jones
Old 22nd November 2020, 17.31:03   #143-0 (permalink)
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Very interesting. Any idea what are the oldest surviving pictures of the turf whilst being patronised, preferably inside. When did it cease to actuallly be an active tafvern or hotel.
I am not sure about the earliest internal photos Mr W- perhaps Wayne could provide more information about this, but the history of The Turf is as follows.

In 1795 a map was drawn, which shows Mold Road (or Hope Street as it was then called) and it also shows the periphery of what we now know as The Racecourse.
The map shows that the area where the Turf is now located, was sectioned off from the rest of the field.
As the Wynn family estate owned all of that section of the course, then it seems odd that such a comparatively small area would be sectioned off from the rest of the field. One possible reason for this is that WW Wynn had commissioned a new cavalry regiment in 1795 and was planning to develop (or redevelop) The Racecourse as both a commercial enterprise for public racing and a training facility for The Wrexham Yeomanry Cavalry.
As part of this project, a small area of land may have been set aside for a new Tavern.

The Wrexham Races had been in existence since ‘at least’ the 1600’s. Off the top of my head, I think that I have traced indirect information about The Wrexham Races, back to the 1630’s, although that information is recorded on the history thread.
I believe that the earliest races took place at the back of a tavern called The George, which later became known as The Three Eagles, which was then shortened to The Eagles and finally became The Wynnstay. But a new course was developed in the 1730’s, possibly due to the regular flooding at Eagles Fields, which was a huge meadow area ‘now known as Eagles Meadow’. There is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that The Races were moved to the present location in 1738/39 to form our Racecourse.
These races were heavily backed by the Williams Wynn family between 1739 and 1740 ‘at least’ but with no local newspapers in Wrexham, there is little other information known, other than the winner of one the 1740 races.
The popularity of the races appears to have ebbed and flowed throughout the 1700’s; sometimes they were heavily promoted, as in the 1730’s and other times, more of a rustic event, as in the 1760’s, although the situation appears to have changed from the mid to late 1790’s when Sir WW Wynn appears to have been getting heavily involved.
There were a couple of passages written in a national magazine by local sports and social commentator ‘Nimrod’ which suggests that the races in the 1790’s were not very well organised, but by 1800, we know that The Wrexham Races were well established on Y Cae Ras and this grew into The Wrexham Races that are commonly known about.
It was this period of development of a ‘new course’ or redevelopment of the old course into a ‘new course’ which gave rise to the construction of The Turf Tavern, sometime between 1795 (when we know that the area was sectioned off) and 1819, when the tavern was recorded on a map and the name of the landlord was also recorded in the parish register. There were no other maps produced in this period, and so currently, we can only say that The Turf Tavern (the section of the current Turf Hotel with a lower roof) was built between 1795 and 1819.
Another map was then produced around 1833 and this shows another building located just a few metres away from the tavern. This building was a much taller building that served as a kind of function rooms facility and restaurant for the upper classes during the races, to keep them away from the rabble in the tavern and out on the course. While the Wrexham Races were enormously popular, they were also a hotbed for drunkenness and public disorder and it seems that the owners were trying to separate the landed gentry and upper classes with their own secure premises, which was known as ‘The Grandstand’ possibly because it was built on the location where timber grandstands had been built each year and dismantled at the end of the meetings. But the 1830’s map shows this as a square building and so I don’t think that it originally had an external balcony.
I believe that a corner of this building was lobbed off in 1854 and a new balcony was added to give the shape that still exists to this day. At the same time, we know that a new stone spectators stand was built at the opposite side of the tavern (where the MRS is located today, and we also know that weighing rooms and rooms for officials were built as extensions onto the pitch side of the tavern.
A map was then made in the 1870’s, which shows that the two properties were joined together by this time, although we know from cinefilm from 1906 that the two buildings were only joined on the upper floor, by means of an undercroft. This means that if you were walking up to The Racecourse from town in the 1870’s you would have walked past The Grandstand section and there would have been a gate between the taller section known as The Grandstand and the lower Turf Tavern, but a connecting room between the buildings at first floor level. Underneath was a store area, like a cellar. I believe that this undercroft was also built in 1854, possibly to be used for staff taking meals to the posh section, known as The Grandstand.
However, The Wrexham Races were stopped due to antisocial behaviour and WW removed his support in 1857. The races continued for another year, but were finally stopped in 1858.
Soon after, The Turf Tavern and The Grandstand collectively became known as The Turf Hotel. The earliest mention as The Turf Hotel that I can find is the mid 1860’s, although the name of The Turf Tavern existed in local consciousness for a few more years, while the name of The Grandstand was completely forgotten. It is also likely that the Turf needed to evolve into a hotel as most of its income had been removed when the races ended, and the railways were providing an influx of people who needed hotel accommodation, although we do know that the lower floors of The Grandstand Section continued to be used as a restaurant and function room.
The next major redevelopment of The Turf took place in 1912/13, when the stadium itself was improved in order to host the Wales v Scotland match in March 1913.
At this time, the outer timber-framed skin of The Grandstand was upgraded and the rendered panels which in-filled the spaces between the timber frames were renewed, as well as the windows and doors, which were replaced. At the same time, the gate between the old tavern and The Grandstand was removed and the undercroft was bricked up, forming the lounge area of the current Turf Hotel and finally joining each building at ground floor level too, to give its present footprint.
I believe that The Turf Hotel is now the oldest public house at any sport stadium in the World.

Last edited by eastsussex; 22nd November 2020 at 17.36:36..
Old 22nd November 2020, 17.35:53   #144-0 (permalink)
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Wayne Jones
Marston's/Marston’s Carlsberg or whichever firm owns the brand but Wayne is the leaseholder or manager on behalf of the brewery.
Old 22nd November 2020, 18.06:33   #145-0 (permalink)
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Who actually owns the Turf now ?
Marstons Pub Company
Old 22nd November 2020, 18.10:44   #146-0 (permalink)
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So any involvement would have to involve Marstons unless they sold it to us , but after being shafted by Hamilton on the ground they will be more careful in future.
Old 22nd November 2020, 19.14:03   #147-0 (permalink)
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So any involvement would have to involve Marstons unless they sold it to us , but after being shafted by Hamilton on the ground they will be more careful in future.
What do we need permission from Marston's for ? We aren't developing The Turf are we ?
Old 23rd November 2020, 00.31:55   #148-0 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eastsussex View Post
I am not sure about the earliest internal photos Mr W- perhaps Wayne could provide more information about this, but the history of The Turf is as follows.

I believe that The Turf Hotel is now the oldest public house at any sport stadium in the World.
Thank you Mr Wrexham!
It’s fair to say that you continue to surprise me with your depth & breadth of your knowledge of our club.
If anyone is ever deserving of an honorary award like ‘club historian’ or the like, then it is clearly you ES.....
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Old 23rd November 2020, 10.37:45   #149-0 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheRealWelshWayne View Post
After reading the Wrexham.com article about LDP2 and its lack of support from councillors and the establishing inspectorate, is it a good idea to lobby about getting the racecourse included again?

I don't think it was included in ldp2.



Have always believed the Racecourse holds so much heritage and is a huge asset to the football club as its spiritual home. Of course it needs a lot of work doing to it, to get it fit for purpose by todays standards of modern stadia, but with solid investment, the character and history it will retain, as well keeping the memories of some incredible games on that turf intact, would in my view far outway any other thoughts to build a new stadium.

That was the reason I put in so much time and energy a decade ago, to help push the Red Passion petition that seeked to get the Racecourse ground notated into the Local Development Plan as a recreational area solely for sport. It was also to remove any risk of Mr Moss or Mr Roberts doing anything untoward with the ground after our experience with H&G.

Quay Red, Wrexham Councils Executive board did designate the Racecourse as a protected site for sports and recreation in the LDP 1 (March 2012) along with three other sites, as part of the LDP1 they submitted to WAG. But it was subsequently withdrawn because of the wider concerns by the Welsh Assembly's Planning inspector. So the protection didn't become effective.

Am now too far away to be involved in any more lobbying for LDP 2 (2013-28). I have also not read LDP 2 to check relevant clauses, but would have thought that protection would have been logically carried forward by Wrexham Council as part of LDP 2.

If it hasn't been and it needs a new round of local lobbying then am sure Welsh Wayne is more than capable of getting it going.
Policy CF3 of the emerging Local Development Plan (LDP 2)states:

The continued use of sports stadia, including the Racecourse Stadium, the North Wales Tennis Centre, the Queensway Athletic Stadium and Bangor on Dee racecourse will be safeguarded and any development which would result in the loss of all or part of the principal use of the site for other uses will not be permitted. Development which enhances existing facilities and the introduction of additional uses complementary to the site's principal use are supported.
Old 23rd November 2020, 10.53:45   #150-0 (permalink)
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Who actually owns the Turf now ?
I thought Tina did and now she is married to Robin they own it jointly
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