Axedale is a rural township on the McIvor Highway immediately west of the Campaspe River and 20 km east of Bendigo. It was named after the Axedale pastoral run (1840), and is also near the Axe Creek which joins the Campaspe River. It is thought that the Axe River, Dorsetshire, England inspired the name.
Axedale is on the road between the Bendigo and McIvor goldfields, and was itself a minor goldfield in 1858. The Campaspe Hotel was opened (1855) and an early settler, James Doak, operated a steam flour mill during the 1860s. A Catholic school was opened at Axedale West in 1866.