Muckleford is rural locality 10 km south-east of Maldon and 115 km north-west of Melbourne. It is on Muckleford Creek, a tributary of the Loddon River. There are also Muckleford North (on the creek) and Muckleford South, near Newstead.

Muckleford was named after a pastoral run taken up in 1840. Gold was discovered in the Muckleford district in 1854, and a speculative township was put up for sale in the same year. The location had the advantage of permanent water, which Maldon lacked. There were other minor rushes at Muckleford, but no permanent gold mining industry eventuated.

An Anglican school was opened in 1855 and two hotels at about the same time. The ruins of one, the Orrville, remain. Muckleford (at Muckleford North) was a railway station on the line from Castlemaine to Maldon (1884). The Anglican school was superseded by a government school (1877-1932). There were also Congregational and Bible Christian churches. A school, opened in 1871 at Muckleford South, was kept as a community hall when closed in 1927, and is on the Register of the National Estate. Muckleford was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

Muckleford is a stopping place on the goldfields tourist railway, and the Muckleford cricket club plays in the local competition.

Since before 1900 Muckleford has been an agricultural area. Its census populations have been:

area census date population
Muckleford 1861 269
  1891 158
  1911 314
  1933 177
  1961 80
Muckleford and environs 2011 391

At the 2011 census, farming accounted for 13% of employment.

Further Reading

Miles Lewis, The essential Maldon, Richmond, 1983