Stoneyford (also spelled Stonyford) is a rural locality in western Victoria, used mainly for grazing and dairying. It is on the Princes Highway and railway line about midway between Colac and Camperdown.

Stoneyford’s name is descriptive of the area: the stone is from volcanic material and the ford refers to a crossing place on a small stream. The primary source of the volcanic material was Mount Porndon, a treeless cone about 5 km west of Stoneyford.

Much of the surrounding area was occupied by swampy depressions and the Manifold family’s Purrumbete estate. Draining of the swamps occurred in the 1880s, and the Manifold estate was subdivided for tenant farmers in the early 1900s and for soldier settlement after World War I. The development of amenities mirrored these events: a mechanics’ institute (1886), a school (1906) and a public hall (1913).

A feature of the Stoneyford landscape is the stone walls, built to clear and fence paddocks. The area is prone to rabbit infestation and grass fires. A car wreckers’ yard has been a well known but unattractive landmark, and there are a hall and a CFA shed on the Cobden-Stoneyford Road.

The Stoneyford school was closed probably during the 1970s.

Stoneyford’s census populations have been:

census date population
1911 229
1933 196
1947 151
1961 176

Further Reading

J. Fletcher, The infiltrators: a history of the Heytesbury 1840-1920, volume 1, Shire of Heytesbury, 1985

J. Fletcher, And we who followed: a history of the Heytesbury Shire 1971-1987, Shire of Heytesbury, 1987