The History of Palace house, the Kings Yard and the Rothschild Yard

Explore the history of the site and its residents, both human and equine....

1606-10 - James I built a Palace in Newmarket so he could visit the area for hunting and hawking. His Palace was further west on the High Street than the present Palace site and occupied land at least as far back as All Saints’ Church.

1610s - Various palace buildings were constructed; some designed by Inigo Jones, including the Prince’s Lodgings in 1618-19 on the High Street

1625-47 - Charles I spent a lot of time in Newmarket and visited regularly with his son Prince Charles (future Charles II) and the Court.  During the Civil War he was held captive in his Newmarket Palace for ten days in 1647.  (Was it Palace House? As it was then? NO)

1649-60 - During the Commonwealth the Royal Palace was left to decay or be demolished

1666 - Charles II returned to Newmarket for the first time since he was a boy, and with him he bought a passion for horseracing which has become the life, the soul and the passion of the town.   He set up the new Round Course, part of which is still used today as the July Course. 

1668-71 - Charles II bought land further east of the High Street to consolidate the crown land and construct a new Palace, part of which has survived as Palace House. The architect was William Samwell

1671 - Charles II won a race on 14th October 1671.  Traditionally this has been considered to be the first Town Plate result on record. 

1683 - The Great Fire of Newmarket broke out in stables near St. Mary’s Church.  The King and his brother James Duke of York left the town early and, by doing so, avoided the Rye House Plot to assassinate them. 

1684 - Charles II’s last visit to Newmarket, a year before he died.

1689 - William III’s first visit to Newmarket. He was also keen on horseracing and maintained the Palace and gardens

1693 - Tregonwell Frampton was appointed Keeper of the Running Horses and served under four consecutive monarchs.  He rose in prominence during that period and became known as ‘the Father of the Turf’

18th C- 19th C

1705 - Queen Anne was the next monarch to fall in love with the town, and visited regularly. The Queen’s Apartments were lavishly refurbished during her reign.

1717 - In October George I visited Newmarket for the one and only time.

1753 - William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (second son of George II) first visited Newmarket and was the first royal member of the Jockey Club.

1819 - Part of the Palace on the High Street (formerly the Lord Chamberlain’s lodgings) was demolished in 1814 and sold by the Crown in 1819

1838 - 3 May Barcarolle wins the 1000 Guineas to become the first English Classic winner from Palace House, trained by William Edwards

Edwards trained for George IV and William IV at Palace House but the start date is uncertain

Mid 19th C - The High Street range and the central range of the Palace of Newmarket were demolished

1857 - Palace House was sold by the Crown to Baron Mayer de Rothschild (1818-1874)

1859 - James ‘Jem’ Godding moves into Palace House as trainer

1863 - The Queen Anne Pavilion was demolished to make way for a Congregational Chapel

1863 - Macaroni , trained by Jem Godding, wins the 2000 Guineas and Derby.  This is the first Newmarket-trained winner of the Derby since 1844 and re-establishes Newmarket as a training centre.

1857-mid 1860s - Charles II’s stables were demolished and replaced with the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard stables

1867 - Architect George Devey was hired to design alterations to Palace House, including the addition of a dining room and a second floor

1876 - Kisber win the Derby for Joseph Hayhoe

1879 - Sir Bevys wins the Derby for Joseph Hayhoe

1881 - Alfred Hayhoe moves into Palace House Stables

1893-1926 - Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) made further alterations, including three additional bedrooms and a bathroom to the north by architect Holland of Newmarket and additional service rooms west of the kitchens

1896-1903 - The Rothschild Yard and stables constructed

1896 - St Frusquin wins the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket for Leopold de Rothschild nephew of Baron Meyer de Rothschild. The horse is beaten by the Prince of Wales’s horse Persimmon by a neck in the Derby. The horse was trained by Alfred Hayhoe at Palace House.

1904 - St Amant, sired by St Frusquin and trained by Alfred Hayhoe at Palace House wins the 2000 Guineas and Derby for Leopold de Rothschild. St Amant was the first and only Derby winner for Leopold who had been a patron of the turf since 1870.

1905 - John Watson moves into Palace House Stables

1926 - 30 April - Pillion owned by Anthony De Rothschild become the last horse trained at Palace House to win an English Classic, the 1000 Guineas.

1934 - Jack Jarvis moves into Palace House and uses stable as his second yard (his first yard was Park Lodge).

1947 - C H ‘Harry’ Jellis used the Palace House Stables to train privately for Dorothy Paget, while also  acting as assistant trainer to Jack Jarvis.

1954 - Yard reverted to Jack Jarvis

1965 - Bruce Hobbs moves into Palace House

1980 - Bruce Hobbs trains Tyrnavos to win the Irish Derby from Palace House.  The last classic winner trained at the stable.

1985 - The last Trainer, Bruce Hobbs, moved out of Palace Stables and they have since remained unoccupied. Hobbs trained 48 Group winners from Palace House Stables.

1989 - A fire resulted in the loss of most of the internal decorative features in the Trainer’s House. After the fire the council fitted a temporary roof and rainwater goods to make the building water tight. This was later subject to dry rot and the stable roofs were replaced in 1995-96, with the Trainer’s House roof replaced in 2003

1992 - Forest Heath District Council (FHDC) with the support of English Heritage bought Palace House by compulsory purchase due to its dilapidated condition and inappropriate restoration works

1992-98 - A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from English Heritage enabled the restoration of Palace House by Freeland Rees Roberts architects, with the removal of later 19th C additions. 

2003-2004 - FHDC resolves to set up the Home of Horseracing Trust as an independent charitable trust in order to co-ordinate fundraising for a redevelopment project. HoHT incorporated in 2005.

2014 - A skeleton, believed to be that of Dr Syntax, was unearthed in the Rothschild Yard during the excavation .

2016 - On 3rd November Her Majesty the Queen formally opened that National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art.