Ascot is characterised by large Queenslander homes and is located approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) north-east of Brisbane's Central Business District. Ascot is best known for its beautiful old homes, the picturesque poinciana tree lined shopping area of Racecourse Road, and for the Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses popular for racing carnivals. Over a third of the suburb is taken up by Doomben and its related outer buildings, Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses.
Historically, the land was occupied by the Aboriginal Turrbal clan. The Turrbal called the area Yowoggerra, meaning Corroboree Place. The clan had camping grounds on the north side of the Brisbane River around the Breakfast Creek area. It was at Breakfast Creek that explorers Oxley and Cunningham met members of the clan in 1824. The clan was often called the ‘Duke of York’s clan’ by whites. In 1858 two Aborigines, Dalinkua and Dalpie from the Breakfast Creek area, wrote letters to The Moreton Bay Courier protesting against the treatment their people.
Convicts were used in the 1830s to clear land and build basic roads. Within a decade wealthy free settlers took land with a view of the Brisbane River. In 1855, pastoralist James Sutherland purchased a large portion of land in the Brisbane area, including Ascot and its surrounds. He built one of Ascot's surviving and historically listed homes, Windermere.
The Eagle Farm Racecourse was established in 1863. Horse racing was one of the earliest sports in Brisbane and the name "Ascot" was given to the suburb as a tongue-in cheek reference to Ascot, England, and its prestigious Ascot Racecourse. There were racing stables throughout the suburb until the late 1920s.
During World War II, several buildings were used by General Douglas MacArthur and the Central Bureau, which had its headquarters at "Nyrambla", 21 Henry Street. In July 1942, MacArthur moved his headquarters to Queen Street in Brisbane city. The Central Bureau work of intercepting and decoding Japanese intelligence remained in Ascot.
Also used was the fire station at 77 Kitchener Road and several other locations in nearby Hamilton. In 1941 military authorities took over the racecourse, then known as Camp Ascot, to house thousands of American troops. Camp Ascot was home to several US units, including the 2nd battalion of the 131st Field Artillery Regiment and the 35th Fighter Group comprising the 39th, 40th and 41st Fighter Squadrons and Headquarters Squadron.
From the 1990s the old servants' quarters of "Nyrambla" were home to the late Australian actor Bille Brown (1952-2013), honorary ambassador for Queensland for his stage work in the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The population in Ascot was 4,545 in 2001. The 2006 census recorded 5,330 residents and in 2011 the number decreased to 5,165.
Decades ago Ascot was mostly private homes, now it is a diverse neighbourhood. Of the total 2,295 occupied private residences, 48.4% were separate houses, 43.2% were flats or apartments and 7.5% were semi-detached.
In the 2016 census, Ascot recorded a population of 5,777 people, 52% female and 48% male.
- The median age of the Ascot population was 39 years, higher than the national median of 38.
- 69.2% of people were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 66.7%; the next most common countries of birth were England 4.2%, New Zealand 3.9% and India 2.3%.
- 80.1% of people only spoke English at home,
- The most common responses for religion in Ascot were Catholic 28.8%, No Religion 25.4% and Anglican 20.0%.
Ascot has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 230 Lancaster Road: Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station (as a joint listing of these connected sites)
- 251 Lancaster Road: Musket Villa
- Pringle Street: Ascot State School
- 1 Rupert Terrace: Chateau Nous
- 14 Sutherland Avenue: Windermere
Windermere house has one of the longest family histories in Ascot. It was built by founder of the Ascot suburb James Sutherland for his daughter. After marrying politician/pastoralist John George Appel, the home remained in part of Appel family estate. It is a large home with large surrounding gardens, keeping the house private from view. It has Queenslander style verandahs and each corner is elaborated, one with large bay window, the other with a corner pavilion.
Due to the popularity of the horse races, in 1882 a railway line branch was extended from Eagle Junction Eagle Farm Racecourse in Ascot. In 1899 the first electric tram service was extended to Ascot. Trams which ran from Hamilton along Racecourse Road, Lancaster Road and terminated in Alexandra Road continued until 1969. Ascot railway station Doomben railway station provide access to Citytrain services.
Ascot has a kindergarten in Kitchener Road, a preschool in Barlow Street and a state primary school in Pringle Street. St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School is a prestigious private school in the neighbourhood that provides education from Pre-Prep to Year 12. Ascot State School, in Pringle Street, provides primary education from Prep to Year 6.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Ascot (Brisbane - Qld)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
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- "Brisbane – Suburbs – Ascot, ca. 1925". Accession number: 90-2-5. Queensland Place Names Board, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 9 October 2013.[dead link]
- McMahon, Bruce (25 April 2007). "Battling behind the scenes". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Camp Ascot". Teddy W. Hanks & Ronald Daughtry. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Bille the kid". The Courier-Mail. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "2011 Census QuickStats Ascot". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station (entry 602195)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Musket Villa (entry 601741)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Ascot State School (entry 650044)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Chateau Nous (entry 600047)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
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- "Appel Family Photographs". John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
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- "Learn about Hamilton ward". davidmclachlan.com.au. Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Schools in Ascot". Education Queensland. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- Map and key statistics by Brisbane City Council
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Ascot
- "Ascot". BRISbites. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008.
- "Ascot". Our Brisbane. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008.