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Ascot has for many years been one of Brisbane's most prestigious locations. Located approximately 7km to the north of the Brisbane CBD, Ascot is flanked by two of Brisbane's other 'old money' suburbs, Hamilton and Clayfield.
Ascot's most dominant landmarks are undoubtedly the two racecourses which take up much of the suburb's area. Indeed, the suburb is to believed to have received its name in reference to Royal Ascot in England.
The suburb's main business hub is centred on Racecourse Road, another reference to the area's racing history. The street runs from the grand front gates of the Eagle Farm Racecourse, down towards the river end of the street in neighbouring Hamilton.
According to the 2006 Census, the population of Ascot was 5,330. This figure is unlikely to grow too much as there is very little vacant land available in the area. The suburb features many homes on large blocks prime for subdivision, but most residents would be hoping this does not occur.
Ascot is home to many of Brisbane's most prestigious homes. There are many grand old Queenslanders along the Jacaranda tree lined streets, as well as more modern homes that are increasingly replacing the less-impressive older homes which can still be found.
Thankfully the addition of newer homes has not ruined the area's character. The high entry price for land in Ascot means that anyone building a new home in the area will generally be building a high quality architect designed home that takes into account the surrounding properties.
The median house price in Ascot for the twelve months to March 2009 is $1,172,500. For units the price dips to a far more affordable $388,500. The relatively low median unit price is likely due to the fact that most units in Ascot are the older 'six pack' style blocks which were popular in the 1970s and early 1980s.
At the time of writing, the highest price for real estate in Ascot is $7.2m, which was paid for a property in prestigious Sutherland Avenue in early 2009. The previous record for Ascot was $6.12m, which unsurprisingly was for another property in the same street.
Ascot is home to one of Brisbane's best restaurant strips, Racecourse Road. The street is split between Ascot and Hamilton and features a number of great restaurants and bars. The street gets its name from Eagle Farm racecourse at its northern end.
The area's most popular entertainment attractions are the Doomben and Eagle Farm racecourses, both within walking distance for many Ascot residents.
Eagle Farm Racecourse is the state's largest capacity racecourse and is run by the Queensland Turf Club. The first race was conducted in 1865, and today the track holds around 45 meetings per year, including Queensland's biggest race, the Stradbroke.
The venue is spread over 60 hectares and contains numerous individual facilities available for race day hospitality as well as corporate functions and events on non-race days.
Doomben Racecourse is operated by the Brisbane Turf Club and holds around 46 race meetings per year. The track's premier event is the Doomben Cup, a group one event held in May. The club was formed in 1923 and racing commenced at Doomben in 1933.
Like Eagle Farm, Doomben has excellent facilities for race day facilities, as well as function rooms for non-race day corporate functions and events.
Ascot was originally inhabited by the Turrbal clan of aborigines. The explorers Oxley and Cunningham first met members of the clan in 1824.
White settlement of the area stepped up in 1855 when James Sutherland acquired a large parcel of land in the area surrounding what is now Sutherland Avenue. In 1882 the railway line was extended to Eagle Farm racecourse in Ascot, and in 1899 the first non-horse drawn tram service made its way to the area.
In 1925 both Ascot and Hamilton became part of the Greater Brisbane Council, and the Hamilton Town Council was disbanded. Around this time the larger allotments of land in Ascot were divided up to create smaller allotments more suitable for urban development.
Subsequent improvements in public transport and the development residential housing estates saw Ascot begin its journey to where it is today.
Ascot played its part in World War II in more ways than one. In 1941 the Eagle Farm Racecourse was renamed Camp Ascot and became home to thousands of US troops.
One of Ascot's grand old homes, Nyrambla, was commandeered during the war. From 1942 until 1945 the property was home to the Central Bureau, a military unit comprising of service personal from Australia, USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
A plaque mounted at the property on 21 Henry Street states "From intercepted enemy radio messages the organisation provided intelligence which made a decisive contribution to the allied victory in the Pacific War"