Sunday 22 April 2018

The Convict Built Commissariat Store Brisbane

I had been longing to visit The Commissariat Store Museum in Brisbane for some time. I had found it difficult to be able to do this as I still work 5 days a week and the museum wasn't open on the weekends. So the end of my Christmas holidays turned out to be the perfect opportunity for a visit . Thankfully, the reopening date of the museum after their Christmas break coincided nicely with the last week of my holidays.

The Commissariat Store is one of only two convict built buildings remaining intact in Brisbane. It was built over two years, 1828 to 1829. The other remaining convict built building is the Windmill up on Wickham Terrace which was built in 1828. The Commissariat Store was originally built with only two floors but a third floor was eventually added in 1913.

We were warmly greeted at the door by one of the volunteer staff members who kindly arranged for one of the guides, Fred, to show us around. I highly recommend that if you do visit this museum that you take up the offer of a personal guided tour. Fred was studying archeology at university and working as a volunteer at the museum in his spare time. His passion for history and his depth of knowledge was invaluable to our whole museum experience. Below are some photos of a few of the things that caught my attention as we were shown around.

Queens Wharf Road facade of the Commissariat Store facing the Brisbane River

Lovely volcanic rock, Brisbane tuff, stone paving. Just look at all those colours.

William Street facade clearly showing the 2 original floors differing from the later top floor. 

Original iron barred window. Probably to keep people out rather than in as this building was built as a store house.

William Street retaining wall

View from William Street entrance

William Street facade

Details of the roof accessories.

Internal floor structure showing steel bracing

Support post foot detail

Support post floor structure detail

Top of support post detail

Very nice cedar grandfather clock on the top floor

Old cannon. Probably a signal gun.

Original Gallows Beam from Boggo Road Jail

Old ships wheel
Campbell Brisbane brick

Earlier Campbell Brisbane brick

Convict straight jacket from St Helena Island Penal Settlement

The Famous Convict Fingers. A gruesome reminder of the harsh life of a convict.

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