Urbs in rure: race-grounds, grandstands and the commercialized consumption of urban leisure, 1750–1805

Huggins, Mike ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2789-4756 (2022) Urbs in rure: race-grounds, grandstands and the commercialized consumption of urban leisure, 1750–1805. Urban History, 49 (1). pp. 44-60.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0963926820001017


This article brings together three aspects of early modern urban life: the later stages of the urban renaissance, the consumer revolution and horse racing. Those towns identified as having an effectively commercialized ‘race week’ between 1750 and 1805 challenge notions of any trickle-down effect from London. Successful organization and funding came largely from co-operation rather than division between the county aristocracy and gentry and the urban middling sort. Both groups attended, while race weeks were sufficiently popular for many rural and urban workers to sacrifice production time for the allure of their leisure experiences. Racecourse consumer space, with its booths, tents and stands, allowed spectators to enjoy either cross-class mixing or increased social differentiation, the latter most especially on the permanent stone grandstands, an innovation of the period.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Urban History
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1469-8706
Departments: Institute of Arts > Humanities
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 10:08
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:02
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5879


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