Grantham - Belton House

High Road Belton : NG32 2NW
Belton House is a Grade I country house near Grantham, built in the late 1600's and surrounded by formal gardens and park land. The 3rd Earl Brownlow owned Belton from 1867 and he constructed a cinder racing track in front of House and encouraged sports and bicycle races there.

The Grantham Bicycle and Tricycle Club held their first annual sports at Belton on July 27th 1881 "on the ring in front of Belton House." The following year, the club held two sports meetings at Belton and included bicycle events for club members only, over 1 and 5 miles, 1 mile novices and a 1 mile tricycle race.

Grantham Cycling Club were allowed to use the park in 1886 and they held their first of a series of monthly meeting there on May 6th 1886, where a one mile handicap club race was run in three heats. The meetings continued until October 21st. There was another series of club races at Belton the following year.

The Grantham Journal of June 11th 1892 reported on the Primrose League* meeting at Belton and the sports included bicycle races which were "decided on the gravel track around the grass ring, immediately in front of the hall....All the competitors were members of the Grantham Cycling Club, and, being well known, a good deal of popular favour was shown, and the winner was heartily applauded." There were two bicycle events, half and one mile handicap races for safeties.

The Grantham Journal of June 6th 1936 reported on "The second meeting of the newly formed Grantham Cycling Club was held before a large crowd at Belton Park." This was probably the last bicycle racing at Belton.

* The Primrose League was set up in 1883 by Randolph Churchill as a Conservative political pressure group. It's membership grew quickly and by 1910 there were 2 million members organised into branches, or ‘habitations'.

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