By Cathy Jones
The land on which Begnell Field built is part of the Ripon Estate, a subdivision of the 1810 James Morris land grant. Part of the land occupied by the park was acquired under the Cumberland Planning Scheme in the 1950s as county open space. Strathfield Council also obtained additional land for open space purposes. The county open space was transferred to the care and control of Strathfield Council in 1973 by the State Planning Authority.
The site was previously referred to as Madeline St Open space. The park was formally named Begnell Field after James (Jim) Begnell, Treasurer and Life Member of the Western Suburbs District Junior Rugby Football League, who died in 1971. Begnell advocated the development of the land into a sporting field.
In 1981, the Begnell Field amenities block was named for former Mayor of Strathfield, James Smith. This building has since been demolished and replaced.