What is significant?
The land on which the Penshurst Racecourse is located, about 1.5kms north-east of the township, was reserved for the purpose in 1865. Races were held there immediately if not before, with liquor being supplied under the licence of local publicans. It may be that the great horseman and poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon and his riding companion, Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh, who had close connections with Penshurst, raced there. The small conventional timber and bluestone grandstand was built in 1896 when the Monterey Cypresses may have been planted. It has been much altered and extended. Other facilities followed including a kiosk used as a bar, stalls for horses, the judges' box and the other facilities necessary for official thoroughbred racing. No architect or builder has been associated with the design of the grandstand. The grandstand and the other buildings are in fair condition. The cypresses are senescent and have poor form.
How is it significant?
The Penshurst Racecourse is of historical significance to the community of Penshurst and the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
Penshurst Racecourse is of historical significance for its association with the early history of racing in the western District and the passion for and importance of good horsemanship in rural Victoria in the nineteenth century. It has further historical significance for its continuous association with the thoroughbred horse racing industry over 100 years.