Discover the Convict Trail In Redcliffe

Photo credit: https://www.visitmoretonbayregion.com.au/

Take a trip down memory lane and unravel the interesting history of the Convict Trail in Redcliffe. Hear stories about the state and Redcliffe’s first European encampment. The trail has eight stops and each stop has a rich history.

It was in September 1823 when Governor Brisbane sent Lieutenant own Oxley to the north of the country to find a place where they can establish a penal colony from Port Macquarie (Sydney).

First Stop – Landing Site

Oxley surveyed Moreton Bay and found the perfect spot – Redcliffe. He then sent a letter to the Governor that he has found the best site and the next year, government officials along with the convicts sailed there to establish a penal colony.

Second Stop – First Settlement Wall

Photo credit: Monument Australia

Upon the approval of the site, Oxley along with Lieutenant Henry Miller, the Commandant of Moreton Bay Settlement, sailed into Moreton Boy on-board the Amity. With them were 21 soldiers, their wives and families, and 29 convicts who were tasked to build the new settlement. However, Commandant Miller was not pleased with the new location for the new prison.

Third Stop – Commissariat Store

Walter Scott, a surgeon and storekeeper, was also brought to the site to manage the store. It all started as a hut but eventually, a more permanent and stable store was built.

Fourth Stop – Fresh Water

Men including famous botanist Allan Cunningham and Robert Hoodle, were tasked to find fresh water. It took them two days to find the spot at Humpybong Creek Lagoons.

Fifth Stop – Brick Kiln & Weir

Because of the quality of clay in this spot, brick production began under the management of a convict brickmaker, Martin Sellers. There were enough bricks produced here to help with the construction of quite a few establishments in the colony. Today, the site is called Corscadden Park.

Sixth Stop – Soldiers’ Barracks

With little military experience, the soldiers’ barracks were placed far away from the convicts to protect them due to their harsh actions towards the convicts. This also helped protect the women and children.

Seventh Stop – Commandant’s Cottage & Whipping Post

This is where Lieutenant Henry Miller lived along with his family. He had a five-bedroom pre-fabricated cottage here.

On the other hand, the whipping post was also where men were stripped naked and tied to the pole. Other prisoners were also taken here to watch the whipping. Usually, a prisoner receives 50-100 lashes. A doctor was present throughout the whipping but not to heal the wounds but to revive the prisoner should they faint from pain.

Eighth Stop – Convicts’ Barracks

This is where the Ambassador Hotel stands today. The gaol then was built using thick timber slabs.