This film is part of Free

The Derby 1895

An exciting finish suggests that this is one of the very earliest British films

Sport 1895 1 mins Silent


This is believed to be the Derby of 1895, filmed by Birt Acres for Robert Paul on 29 May 1895 - and hence one of the very earliest surviving British films. Only one older projected film, Arrest of a Pickpocket (probably shot just weeks earlier), is known to survive, though neither film would actually be screened in public until the following year.

Though we can't be certain about its provenance, the content fits a contemporary description of the film - "Clearing the course; preliminary canter; race and crowd surging over the course" - while the camera position is consistent with a photograph of Acres with his camera at Epsom on that day. Finally, the finish is a close one (as we know it was in 1895), and one of the jockeys seems to be wearing the pale-hooped colours of Lord Rosebery, owner of the winning horse, Sir Visto.