Staffordshire Reef is a rural locality and former mining town 23 km south-east of Ballarat. It was named after Staffordshire, England. Reputedly some miners from Staffordshire discovered the gold-bearing reef in about 1858.
A school was opened in 1862, and in 1865 Bailliere’s Victorian gazetteer recorded Staffordshire Reef as being situated in rangy, quartz-bearing country with Mount Misery to its east. There were three quartz-crushing mills and five hotels, and the population was estimated at about 500 people. The Australian handbook described Staffordshire Reef in 1903:
In common with other towns between Linton and Rokewood, mining declined during the 1870s or 1880s, and revived in the 1890s or around the turn of the century. The population figures chart the changes in mining activity. By the 1920s mining had ended its second period and the school closed in 1926.
Staffordshire Reef’s census populations were:
Staffordshire Reef has a few buildings, a cemetery and the Enfield Forest to its east.