Cranley is a rural/residential suburb 6 km north of central Toowoomba, immediately north of Wilsonton and Rockville. The origin of the name was possibly a house or property in the district; Cranley railway station on the line from Toowoomba to Dalby dated from the 1870s, and was positioned where the line met Hermitage Road.

Hermitage Road was named after the residence of Walter and Katie Hume. Walter was a surveyor who rose to the position of Under Secretary for Lands. On the south side of Hermitage Road the Queensland Government built an asylum for the insane in 1890. Known now as the Baillie Henderson psychiatric hospital, the complex has the distinction of being an enlightened place of care accommodated in Queensland's most intact nineteenth century asylum design, apparently modelled by the public works architect on Britain's Bedlam institution. It was added to the Queensland heritage register in 1999. Refurbishment of the hospital, including its main pool and hydrotherapy pool, occurred in 2014.

North of Hermitage Road there is an extensive waste-water treatment plant. Cranley's census populations have been:

Census datePopulation
193321
2006725
2011852
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