Ascot's History

About Ascot

Ascot is located 7 kilometres from the CBD of Brisbane. It is a suburb of flat land and undulating hills. Open space includes the Bartley's Hill Reservoir and Oriel Park. Originally the area was thickly forested and the original grant of 320 acres for the establishment of the racetrack meant that the racegoers caught only occasional glimpses of the horses.

The suburb has long been a prestigious one and the comfortable houses and gardens combined with mature tree-lined streets contribute to the Ascot townscape. Much of the suburb was high enough to escape flooding and its proximity to the city, combined with sought after elevated breezes, ensured its early development.

Aboriginal History

The Turrbal clan occupied the northern side of the Brisbane River. This clan was often referred to by the whites as the ‘Duke of York’s clan’. There were camping grounds around the Breakfast Creek area and the explorers Oxley and Cunningham met members of the clan at the mouth of the Creek in 1824.

Breakfast Creek, just outside the Ascot suburban boundary, was known by the Turrbal people as Yowoggerra, meaning Corroboree Place. In 1858 two Aborigines, Dalinkua and Dalpie from the Breakfast Creek area, wrote letters to The Moreton Bay Courier protesting about the treatment their people received at the hands of the white settlers.

Urban Development

In 1855 the pastoralist James Sutherland became the owner of a substantial portion of land in the Toombul parish, including land surrounding the Sutherland Avenue area.

In 1882 the branch railway line was extended to Eagle Farm Racecourse in Ascot. Public transport developed further in 1899 with the introduction of the first non-horse drawn tram service to Ascot. In 1925 the Hamilton Town Council was disbanded when Ascot and Hamilton became part of the Greater Brisbane Council. The large subdivisions in the Ascot/Hamilton area were divided at this time to form smaller allotments. Residential growth increased with the development of housing estates and improvements in public transport.

In 1855 the pastoralist James Sutherland became the owner of a substantial portion of land in the Toombul parish, including land surrounding the Sutherland Avenue area.

Ascot Landmarks

The Eagle Farm Racecourse was established in 1863 and it is now the premier racecourse in Brisbane. 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 the prestigious racing hub in England. In 1941 military authorities took over the racecourse, then known as Camp Ascot, to house thousands of American troops.

Ascot Railway Station, established in 1882, was the last station in metropolitan Brisbane to retain semaphore signaling and a mechanically interlocked cabin. In 1913 after pressure from Hamilton Town Council, a second railway station was constructed at the Hendra end of the platform.

Major People

William ‘Billy’ Booth lived opposite the Eagle Farm Racecourse in Lancaster Road. He had entered the horse training and racing industry in 1885 when he became an apprentice to a horse trainer called John Stone. At one stage he was responsible for the training of 21 horses. Many of his horses won important races making him well known in racing circles.

Edmund William Henry Beckham and Edward Roland Videan formed the Ascot Taxi Service in 1919. This was the first taxi company in Queensland and it operated from Ascot Garage at Racecourse Road. In 1953 the Ascot Taxi Service became the first taxi company in Queensland to install two-way radios.

Cultural Diversity

The majority of residents of Ascot were born in Australia. According to the 2001 census 16.91% of Ascot residents were born overseas and 6.35% speak a language other than English at home. This compares with 21.03% and 10.03% for Brisbane as a whole. 0.59% were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, compared to 1.67% for Brisbane.


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