Alfredton is a residential and industrial area on the outskirts of Ballarat, one km south-west of Lake Wendouree. The name was given to the district probably in honour of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and second son of Queen Victoria, who visited Australian in 1867-68. A school which had been opened there in 1868 was named Western Public School Ballarat, but it adopted the name Alfredton in the early 1870s.
Travellers enter Alfredton as they pass through the Arch of Victory and the tree-lined Avenue of Honour on the Western Highway. Alfredton was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:
Alfredton was a rural area until intensified industrialisation and urban expansion occurred in the 1960s. Prior to then the Victorian Inland Meat Authority (1943) and the Egg and Egg Pulp Marketing Board (also 1943) began processing operations in Alfredton. A spur railway line runs southwards through Alfredton to the livestock yards, past the Meat Authority's abattoirs which incorporated a meat-freezing works that was established after World War I.
North of the Western Highway Alfredton had extensive public lands and institutional uses, including the Lakeside Hospital, elderly persons' homes, the Prince of Wales recreation reserve, the Ballarat golf course and the Ballarat high school (originally the Agricultural High School, 1910). In about 2000 the area north of the highway was detached, subdivided for modern detached housing, and named Lake Gardens. The hospital became an aquatic centre.
In its residential area Alfredton also has a recreation reserve, State (553 pupils in 2014) and Catholic (1980) primary schools, preschool facilities, local shops and two historic buildings: Lauderdale homestead (1850s) in Prince Street and Beaufort House (1864) are both on the Register of the National Estate.
In September 2010 and again in January 2011 many parts of regional Victoria experienced widespread severe flooding. In Alfredton a spill over of Lake Wendouree into the town occurred after it had been artificially filled earlier in 2010 following drought. A number of homes were inundated by floodwater.
Alfredton's census populations have been:
James H. Mitchell, Progress in the Shire of Ballarat, the shire, c1972