2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain

Population: 14,995 (2001 Census)
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference: TL645636
District: Forest Heath
Shire county: Suffolk
Region: East of England
Constituent country: England
Sovereign state: United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: Suffolk
Historic county: Suffolk
Police force: Suffolk Constabulary
Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}}
Ambulance: East of England
Post office and telephone
Post town: NEWMARKET
Postal district: CB8
Dialling code: 01638
UK Parliament: West Suffolk
European Parliament: East of England

Newmarket is a market town in the English county of Suffolk, approximately 65 miles (105 kilometres) north of London, which has grown and become famous because of its connection with race horses and racing.


Racing at Newmarket has been dated as far back as 1174, making it the earliest known racing venue of post-classical times. King James I (reigned 1603 - 1625) greatly increased the popularity of horse racing there, and King Charles I followed this by inaugurating the first cup race in 1634. In 1967 Queen Elizabeth II opened The National Stud, a breeding centre for thoroughbred horses. The town is also home to Tattersalls, the famous bloodstock auctioneers whose sales are attended by big names in the racing business. The town also has a Horse Racing Museum and an Equine Centre for horse health.

The town has special horse routes so the horses can reach the gallops safely and many training establishments occupied by top trainers. More than 2,500 race horses inhabit Newmarket. By comparison, the human population is of the order of 15,000 and it is estimated that one in four jobs are connected to horseracing in one way or another. 'The gallops' is a hill overlooking the town and used as a training run to improve the horses' workload when training. This and the surrounding heath is chalk downland and has special birds and animals only suited to this terrain. It is also a very historical area with the remains of 6th century living to be found. This hill is part of the chalk formation the Newmarket Ridge.

Most of the Newmarket-based racing stables are situated in the centre of the town, where they can easily access the gallops. Outside the town the land-use is dominated by thoroughbred breeding, studs occupying large areas in every direction. Around 70 licensed trainers and more than 60 stud farms operate in and around Newmarket. Dalham Hall Stud (the headquarters of Darley), Cheveley Park Stud and Banstead Manor Stud (Headquarters of Juddmonte Farms) are well-known examples all which can be found in the village of Cheveley, three miles from Newmarket.

Local celebrity jockey Frankie Dettori in the parade ring at Newmarket after riding in the 2005 2000 Guineas.
Local celebrity jockey Frankie Dettori in the parade ring at Newmarket after riding in the 2005 2000 Guineas.

The town has two race courses situated on Newmarket Heath, these are the Rowley Mile and the July Course. The two courses are separated by the Devil's Dyke. This large earthwork starts in neighbouring Woodditton (sometimes spelt as Wood Ditton) and ends in Reach, a distance of over 8 miles.


Newmarket has a station on the Cambridge - Bury St. Edmunds - Ipswich rail line, formerly belonging to the Great Eastern Railway (later part of the LNER). Newmarket's first railway was a line opened in 1848, known as the Newmarket Railway, branching off the London - Cambridge main line at Great Chesterford and running about 15 miles in a north easterly directon, ending at an attractive terminus in Newmarket, and with intermediate stations at Bourn Bridge, Balsham Road and Six Mile Bottom. Just three years later the first nine miles or so of this line, the stretch from Great Chesterford to Six Mile Bottom, was superseded by a more viable section linking Six Mile Bottom directly with Cambridge, and so the Great Chesterford - Six Mile Bottom section closed in 1851, one of the earliest closures in British railway history (the former Bourn Bridge station is believed to have been partly incorporated into a public house just across the road from a station opened later on another line - Pampisford, on the now-closed Cambridge - Haverhill - Sudbury route). With the development of other lines the Newmarket terminus was replaced by the present through station. A short distance to the north east is the 1,100 yard Warren Hill tunnel.


The area of Suffolk containing Newmarket is nearly an exclave, with only a narrow strip of territory linking it to the rest of the county. Historically the town was split with one parish - St Mary - in Suffolk, and the other - All Saints - in Cambridgeshire. The Local Government Act 1888 made the entirety of Newmarket urban sanitary district part of the administrative county of West Suffolk.

The 1972 Local Government Bill as originally proposed would have transferred the town (and Haverhill) to Cambridgeshire. The Local Government Commission for England had suggested in the 1960s that the border around Newmarket also be altered, in West Suffolk's favour. Newmarket Urban District Council supported the move to Cambridgeshire, but ultimately the government decided to withdraw this proposal and keep the existing boundary, despite intense lobbying from the UDC.


  • From 1808 to 1814 Newmarket hosted a station in the shutter telegraph chain which connected the Admiralty in London to its naval ships in the port of Great Yarmouth.
  • According to "The Strange Laws of Old England" by historian and author Nigel Cawthorne, it was against the law to blow your nose in the street and 'a person or persons going about the street with a head cold or distemper' was liable to a fine. This law was introduced to protect not the Newmarket citizens but the vast racing stock.
  • Newmarket has an amateur football team called Newmarket Town, in recent time the club has had successful FA Vase run (2005) and as of 2006 is enjoying a successful league run.

Twin towns

Newmarket has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

  • United States Lexington, Kentucky (Note: the towns are only twinned through horse-racing, and beer servery)
  • France Maisons-Laffitte, France
  • France Le Mesnil-le-Roi, France
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