Galston was originally known as Upper Dural. In 1886, early settler Alex Hutchinson suggested that the small hamlet, about 3 kilometres north of Dural, should have a change of name to give it an identity of its own. He named it Galston, after a Scottish town near Kilmamock.
The centre of Galston is a shopping village which is home to Franklins Supermarket and many other local shops and businesses. While there is no heavy industry in Galston, small businesses are run from homes in the area. Agriculture is of significance here, with a number of orchards growing citrus, strawberries and stone fruits. Galston has successfully retained its serene, peaceful atmosphere. It offers boutique galleries, nurseries with garden cafes and a multitude of bushwalks through the Galston Gorge.
Galston is also home to the historic 55 hectare Fagan Park, named after an early farming family. The last descendant, Bruce Fagan, specified in his will that the land be granted to Council and be developed into parkland. It is a popular location for both locals and visitors, with family BBQ picnics a regular scene there on any weekend.