Postcode: 2762 | Distance to Sydney CBD: 45 km
Schofields is a suburb located 45 kilometres
west of the Sydney central business
district. As at the 2011 census Schofields
had an estimated population of 3,813.
John Schofield (1803–1884) was transported from England to the Colony of New South Wales for stealing when he was just 17 years old. At the time he was a silk weaver from Cheshire. He was transported aboard HMS Minerva in 1821 and was assigned to work for Thomas Harley, a free-settler, on his farm at Baulkham Hills. In 1828, Schofield was granted a Ticket of Leave, which allowed him to live freely within the district of Parramatta. In 1829, he married Bridget Harley, the daughter of his former employer. Schofield then rented Gillingham Farm, located near the Eastern Creek.
The Schofields delivered eight offspring; five males and three females. In 1841, Schofield bought three 0.25 acres (0.10 ha) blocks of land along the Windsor Road. Unfortunately, due to falling wool prices and a general state of depression in the colony, Schofield became bankrupt in 1843. New government concessions introduced a few years later allowed Schofield to buy 600 acres (240 ha) of land around the area now known as Schofields in 1845. In 1849, Schofield and two of his sons, William and Samuel, sailed to California in the hope of finding gold. He returned in 1850 with some gold, but their ship, the Rosetta Joseph struck land and became ship wrecked. Aboard life-boats and in very rough seas, the passengers were rescued at Port Macquarie after ten days. Schofield and his sons returned to their farm with enough gold to pay off most of his debts. Just before Christmas in 1851, Bridget Schofield died. The discovery of gold in New South Wales and a rise in the economy provided Schofield with enough money to pay off his mortgage and develop his keen interest in horseracing.
The railway line from Blacktown to Windsor opened in 1864 and passed through Schofield's land. In 1872, a stopping place was recognised on Schofield's land and a small platform made from railway sleepers was built after that to make boarding the train safer. This platform was known as Schofield's Siding. The name changed over the years to Schofields. In his later life, Schofield set up a sawmill beside the railway line and used the trees from his paddocks in Schofields to supply timber for housing. John Schofield died in 1884.
Schofields railway station is on the Richmond branch of the Western railway line of the Sydney Trains network. The suburb is also home to the now unused Schofields Aerodrome and HMAS Nirimba.
The Westlink M7 and M2 Hills Motorway provide easy road access from both the south and the east. Westbus Hills District (600 series), Hawkesbury Valley Buses, and Busways provide commuter bus services to the suburb and/or adjoining suburbs.
Parks, recreation and essential services
Schofields Park, on Station Street, is the home of the Riverstone Schofields Junior Soccer Football Club. The village also has a Community Hall that can be hired out for parties and is also regularly used by the local Church Group on Sunday mornings. The village also has a NSW Rural Fire Service brigade, known as Schofields Bush Fire Brigade. They regularly attend house fires, car accidents, bush fires and most other emergencies in the area that require fire brigade attendance. A Woolworths Supermarket recently opened up across the road from the new Schofields railway station.