X:2 T:Breckland Races M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:John Rook manuscript (Cumbria, 1840) K:G D2|G2 B/A/G dGBG|dGgG fGeG|dG B/A/G dGBG|FDAD BDAD| G2 B/A/G dGBG|dGgG fGeG|dedB dgdB|AGAB G2:| |:G2|F2 F/E/D FDAD|FDAD BDAD|G2 B/A/G dGBG|dGgG fGeG| d2G B/A/G gGeG|dG B/A/G gGeG|dBed cBAG|FGAG FDEF:||
BLANCHLAND RACES. AKA - "Blackling Races," "Blickling Races," "Breckland Races." AKA and see "Babes in the Woods (3)," "Blanchard Races," "McGregor's Reel," "Peter Street (1)," "Timour the Tartar," "Waterloo Dance (2)." English, Reel. England, Northumberland. G Major (Bruce & Stokoe): A Major (Moore, Spencer). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody appears in the music manuscript books of John Moore (Tyneside, Northumberland, 1841), George Spencer (Leeds, 1831, where it appears as "Blickling Races"), John Rook (1840, Wigton, Cumbria, area as "Breckland Races") and John Burks (as "Blackling Races"). Nothing is known of the latter fiddler, although he may have been from the north of England. The melody is better known as "Timour the Tartar" in Scotland and England, as "Peter Street" in Ireland; in either case it is usually played in the key of 'A' by fiddlers, most often as a reel, although sometimes in pronounced dotted rhythm.
The village of Blanchland was named for the Premonstratensian White Canons, and dates to the founding of the monastery by Walter de Bolbec in 1165. Parts of the old abbey guesthouse (and the later residence of the Forster family) can be seen today incorporated in The Lord Crewe Arms. In modern times it is a picturesque village in a wooded glen of the Derwent, surrounded by wild moorland, and features a medieval gatehouse barring the Hexham road and a 19th century stone bridge on the opposite side of the village. After the Dissolution the estate fell into decline, it was first owned by the Radcliffes and then bought in 1623 by the Forsters of Bamburgh. In 1699 Dorothy Forster married Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, who bought the debt-ridden estate in 1704. When Lord Crewe died he left his estates to trustees with the income to go to Oxford and various schools and almshouses.