Macquarie Fields is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Macquarie Fields is located 42 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Campbelltown.
Macquarie Fields was named by early landholder James Meehan in honour of the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. The area was surveyed by Meehan in the early 1800s. Although transported to Australia as a convict for his role in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, Meehan had trained as a surveyor in Ireland and in 1803 was appointed assistant to NSW Surveyor-General Charles Grimes. In 1806 he was granted a full pardon and in 1810 became Surveyor-General. For his work, he was granted a number of parcels of land including 2020 acres in what is now Macquarie Fields and neighbouring suburbs. He used the rich soil to grow cereal crops, fruit trees and to graze livestock.
The property changed hands a couple of times after Meehan's death and in the 1840s, Samuel Terry built a Regency mansion, Macquarie Fields House, which still stands to this day. It is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. In 1883, then owner William Phillips subdivided the land to create a new town he called Glenwood Estate with grand boulevards and fine buildings. A railway station was added to the line in 1888 but the depression of the 1890s meant the grand town failed to materialise with only a few small houses built on the lots. In the next Great Depression of the 1930s, the area became popular with the homeless who made makeshift huts not unlike those of the earlier Darug people.
After World War II, the village grew steadily. A public school was opened in 1958 and by 1971, the population reached 3700. Around this time, a large Housing Commission development was built on the east side of town. This led to a huge population growth and there was even talk of splitting the suburb in two with the newer Housing Commission area taking the name Glenwood but opposition to the proposal put an end to that idea. Private housing developments sprung up further around and the weight of population contributed to a larger town centre.
Macquarie Fields gained notoriety as the location of riots in 2005. Allegations were made that these were the result of the Housing Commission area being something of a ghetto. Since then, there has been a move to sell or demolish many of those houses, moves which are resisted by tenants, some of whom have lived there for thirty years or more.
Macquarie Fields is services by three Interline bus routes: 870 (Glenfield to Macarthur Sq), 871 (Macquarie Fields Station to Eucalyptus Drive - Peak Hours only) and 873 (Macquarie Fields Station to Ingleburn Station).