The township of Scarsdale is located on the Glenelg Highway, about 25 kms south-west of Ballarat on generally level ground west of the Woady Yalloak River. While gold had been discovered throughout the Woady Yalloak district, it was the rush to Brown's Diggings which established the town of Scarsdale in 1855 and the consolidation of later finds towards the south which triggered the extension of the town into Newtown, towards Pitfield. The heyday of Scarsdale was in the 1860s, a period of great prosperity. The township is organic and linear in form and pivots around the intersection of the Ballarat-Linton Road, the Old Glenelg Highway and the Pitfield-Scarsdale Road. The main public buildings were always located close to the intersection. The former timber Post Office, the red brick Scarsdale Hotel and the rendered Town Hall are in a row on the east side of the Pitfield-Scarsdale Road. They are modest in their scale, conventional in their forms and in styles typical of their periods. The Railway Station was in Brewer Street but nothing survives. The loss of so many public and private buildings illustrates the great decline of the goldfields' townships.
How is it Significant?
The township Scarsdale is of historical, architectural and social significance to the Golden Plains Shire.
Why is it Significant?
The township of Scarsdale is of historical significance as one of the many small settlements in the Shire established on the site of gold rushes in the 1850s and 1860s, several of which have survived into the twenty-first century. It is of architectural significance for their range of very modest buildings dating from the nineteenth century, the most important of which are the former Post Office, the former Shire Hall and the Scarsdale Hotel. These and other buildings are complimented by substantial avenues of honour and other mature trees, as well as the limited surviving infrastructure. The township of Scarsdale is of social significance for its survival from a peak of many thousands, reflected in some surviving public buildings and cottages, to its modern population of less than one and a half thousand in the whole district. The township reflects the inter-relationship between pastoral, mining and agricultural pursuits.