The 'Old Cope' Running Track

The best Victorian athletes attracted huge crowds who watched them compete against each other or attempt new records.

In the early 1850s a sports promoter built a private running track here, next to Copenhagen House, to host these events.

The ‘Old Cope’ had a unique feature: its track was exactly a third of a mile long, allowing precise measurement of the athletes’ performace. In 1852 the runner Charles Westhall ran the first mile in under four and a half minutes at the ‘Old Cope’.

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