Paul Budde's History Archives

Eagle Farm

Captain Logan in 1829, started to develop a new 1000 acre agriculture development, he  had selected 150 prisoners for the clearing of the site and had established a slab hut for their temporary accommodation. This became the secondary agricultural establishment after the garden in town (now Botanical Gardens).

The earliest attempt at Eagle Farm were cumbersome because of a lack of ‘willing’ convicts. Initially agriculture work remained concentrated in the Governor’s Garden. The success of the Farm is unclear with information on the area under cultivation varying between 46 and 280 acres.

It looks like that from the earliest day also female convicts were employed at the farm, but it is until 1836 that data becomes available to confirm that 40 female convicts were working at the farm,

By that time there were several timber slab buildings included the farm superintendent’s house, a two-room building for male prisoners who did heavy work, the Matron’s Quarters, a female factory with four rooms and sundry separate buildings including a one-room store, a one-room school and a one room hospital. The cook house had two rooms, one being a needle room where prisoners worked at sewing. The actual prison where women were locked up at night was a building containing six cells with a tall stockade or palisade type fence, the outer wall 5.2-metre (17 ft) high poles, the tops of which were sharpened. Not that this prevented male intruders to find their way to the women and they were assisted in their escapades by the tall grass surrounding the area.

In 1839 the remaining 57 convict women were shipped to Sydney and the penal settlement at Eagle Farm was effectively closed, becoming a government cattle station by 1841. Consequently it became farming lands and it also housed the very first airport. The site of the old buildings is currently a heritage area with a museum.

The tread mill and the wind mill

The building of Brisbane TOC

Convict History of Brisbane TOC