Riverstone is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Riverstone is located 48 kilometres (30 mi) north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the Blacktown local government area; parts of the Greater Western Sydney region. Originally settled in 1803 as part of a government stock farm, Riverstone is one of the oldest towns in Australia.
As at the 2016 census, Riverstone had an estimated population of 7,247
Prior to settlement and colonisation of Australia, the area that was to become known as Riverstone was inhabited by the Darug tribe. Most of these people died due to introduced diseases following the arrival of the First Fleet, and the remainder were largely relocated to government farms and a series of settlements.
The Sydney Cove region originally settled in 1788 turned out to be unsuitable for farming, and after a number of years of near-famine in the colony, efforts were made to relocate food production inland to hopefully more climatically stable regions. In 1803 a government stock farm was established in what was to become the Riverstone/Marsden Park area, on the basis of the abundant water supply and good grazing land there. In 1810 Lieut-Col Maurice Charles O’Connell was granted 2,500 acres (10 km²) of land in the district, which he named “Riverston Farm”, after his birthplace in Ireland. (The “e” at the end first appeared on railway timetables in the 1860s, an apparent misprint that has become the accepted spelling, although the name is still pronounced as though the “e” is not present).
Originally, beef cattle farmed in the area were driven overland to the Hawkesbury River for transport by sailing ship to the convict settlement at Sydney Cove. The construction of the Sydney to Richmond Railway line in the 1864 both eliminated the need for this and opened up the region to non-rural development. An important meatworks was established there in 1878, undergoing various stages of rebuilding and expansion until it closed permanently in 1992.
In 1970, a major fire at the Riverstone Meatworks killed six men, who were attempting to lead the animals to safety.
In 1988, as part of a Federal Government programme to commemorate the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia, a heritage museum was established in the old Masonic hall.
The suburb boundaries of Riverstone were changed in November 2020, shrinking the size of the suburb and creating the new suburbs of Grantham Farm in the east and Richards and Angus in the west. The suburb also no longer extended into the Hawkesbury local government area, with those areas absorbed into the suburb of Vineyard.