Ironbark is a suburb of Bendigo, 2 km north-west of the city's centre. It was named after Ironbark Gully, the site of a rich alluvial gold digging that was fully occupied by miners by the middle of 1852. Ironbark was the name given to several species of Eucalypt with dark, deeply furrowed bark.
Together with Long Gully to its north, Ironbark was an intensively mined area. The Victoria Hill conservation area, west of the Loddon Valley Highway, is bare mined terrain; Hustlers reef (1853) gave rich yields.
Hotels and businesses were established along Eaglehawk Road (now Loddon Valley Highway) and the Mount Korong Road (now Calder Highway). The Gold Mines hotel (1861), Calder Highway, is opposite Happy Valley Road which runs south through Victoria Hill. On the Loddon Valley Highway, east of Victoria Hill, there is the British and American hotel, c1880.
In 1861 the Ironbark Hill primary school opened and five years later another school opened in Violet Street (now Old Violet Street). Until the Violet Street school was built pupils were taught in a Primitive Methodist chapel. Both schools operated until 1928 when Ironbark Hill closed, but before then (after Violet Street was enlarged) pupils overflowed into a Rechabites hall and the Hopetoun Bandroom in Eaglehawk Road. In 1914 the schools had a combined enrolment of 770.
For many years Ironbark, once a prominent business centre, was part of Long Gully. In 1999 it was gazetted as a separate suburb, positioned between Golden Square and Long Gully. Its census populations have been: