"ASCOT, a parish, joined to Winkfield, in the hundred of Ripplesmere, in the county of Berks, 4 miles to the S.E. of Windsor. It is a station on the South Western railway, and is principally known as the site of a racecourse. This course was formed by William Duke of Cumberland; it is nearly 2 miles in circuit, and has a grandstand, extensive range of stables and coach-houses, a weighing-house, and other accommodations. The races take place in the month of July, and are especially patronised by the sovereign and the nobility."
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.
Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.