Disley - Lyme Park

High Lane : SK12 2NR
Lyme Hall dates back to the sixteenth century, it is surrounded by 15 acres of formal gardens and a deer park of 1,359 acres, which are listed at Grade II*. The Lyme Park Show was held for a short time in the late 1860's and a velocipede race took place there in 1869.

The velocipede race at Lyme Park Show was reported in the Cheshire Herald of September 18th 1869. "After the trial of hunters came the velocipede race which took place on the same ground. There was also much interest manifested in this novel sport, for which 13 competitors had entered. They ran in heats and the deciding one was warmly contested. Each competitor wore a particular colour, which was given in the catalogue. The friends of the competitors were much excited during the race."

The report continues "The men were run in heats, the distance being about a mile. The races excited a considerable amount of interest, one of the best competitors, Dixon, ultimately winning the first prize £3; Ryecroft was second for £2 and Thomas Nixon £1 for third."

The reference to the competitors ‘colours' is because early velocipede racing was likened to horse racing, velocipedes being described as 'iron steeds' and their riders sometimes dressed in coloured silks, like jockeys.

This velocipede race in 1869 was probably the only bicycle race to take place at Lyme Park.

Lyme Park and Lyme Hall are now owned by the National Trust and are open to the public. Lyme Hall is well know as the seat of Mr Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.


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