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The origin of Priestdale’s name remains a mystery. The creek in the region was named Priest Gully when it was first surveyed in the early 1860s. Timber was the main industry, with many timber getters and shingle splitters living in the region in the 19th century. From 1879, large tracts of land in this area were owned by Catholic Bishop James Quinn and were transferred to Bishop Robert Dunne when Quinn died. Bishop Dunne later undertook coal exploration in the area, but mining the deposits was not economically viable.

Many locals believe the name of Priest Gully originated with the Bishop's ownership, but this is not so. There is an unsubstantiated story that Priest Gully was named after Catholic Priest Father Enright who was lost amongst the maze of lagoons and waterholes in the area while travelling to visit parishioners. The area was originally known as Priestdale Lagoons and the lagoons were a hazard.

Newspaper advertisements in the early 20thcentury for land sales in Priestdale Lagoons described areas rich, productive soil, perfect for pineapples, bananas and papaws. The plots were intended to interest townspeople in establishing small farm plots or private orchards.

Priestdale is located to the east of Rochedale South and the area is mostly bushland. It forms the buffer zone between Redland Shire and Logan City. Much of the surrounding area is State Forest, National Park or Conservation Areas. Priestdale was registered as a locality in March 1979.