Rowsley is a rural locality 6 km south-west of Bacchus Marsh, where the Parwan Creek is crossed by the Bacchus Marsh-Balliang Road. Its name is thought to have been inspired by Rowsley in Derbyshire, England.
It has had a school (1870-1948), a mechanics' institute (1894) and a creamery. In 1889 the railway was laid through Rowsley connecting it to Ballarat and Melbourne. A siding replaced the station south of the Bacchus Marsh hardboard factory. In 1959 the mechanics' institute was replaced by a war memorial hall.