In the early 1800's, Brisbane was a penal colony of the British Empire. By 1830, there were 1000 convicts living here in barracks that they, themselves, constructed. Because of the large number of folks (i.e. Convicts as well as those supporting the penal colony) living in the Moreton Bay settlement, authorities felt that they needed a Commissariat store which "...procured, stored, and distributed goods, and rations - such as food, clothes, and tools - for the penal colony." So, in 1829, authorities had the convicts build one on the shores of Brisbane River at Queen's Wharf. Today, this is the oldest "occupied" building, and the second oldest, overall (after the Windmill in Wickham park, also built by convicts) in Queensland. By 1840, the penal colony no longer existed, but the Commissariat Store remained open. The Brisbane Historical Society now maintains the building as a museum, in which visitors can explore the history of the area's penal and colonial life. The building also serves as the Society's headquarters. Interestingly, the Commissariat is directly opposite the old Treasury building (now a hotel), and diagonally opposite one of the main casinos in Queensland (we wonder what the authorities of the penal colony would have thought of that?). Since we love history, this was a good visit for us.
The oldest "occupied" building in Qeensland, the Commissariat Store served as the center for supplies for Brisbane's penal colony.
The oldest "unoccupied" building is the Windmill at the top of Wickham park, also built by convicts (1828). Engineers soon realized that the wind here was not truly strong enough to make the windmill efficient, so they built a treadmill (run by convicts) to grind the flour.
The interior exhibits gives visitors a taste of what Brisbane's penal and colonial life was like.
Barracks life for the convicts was not very pleasant.
Stones for the building were taken from a local quarry while the mortar was created by heating crushed sea shells.
Those supporting the penal colony tried to make life as pleasant as possible with fine crafted furniture.
Of course, there were always those convicts who continued their nefarious ways , even in prison . Punishment for the most serious of crimes (e.g. Murder) included a trip to the gallows. This beam from the original penal colony shows that as many as three prisoners at a time could be hung.
Punishment for "lesser" crimes might include being shackled for days at a time, flogging...
...or time on the treadmill for the Wickham Park windmill (as depicted in this drawing).
Excavations of the area discovered this piece of the original wall around the penal colony complex.
1/30/2017 09:57:09 pm
I like your style of writing.You break it down nicely. Very informative post.I really look forward to your other posts.
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Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.