Redcliffe Pier

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

THE OLD WINDMILL


The Old Windmill minus its sails is the oldest surviving building in Queensland.













It was built by convicts, supervised by the commandant, Captain Patrick Logan in 1828. Logan realised the penal colony of Moreton Bay needed a mill to grind the wheat and maize grown in the settlement, which is now the city of Brisbane.

Even though the windmill sits on the top of a hill, there was rarely enough wind to push the sails to power the mill so convict labour was used to turn two treadmills. In 1842 the penal colony closed and free settlers arrived to develop the city.

In 1861 the sails were removed and the windmill became an observatory and signal station. A time ball was added which fell at 1:00pm everyday until 1930 when the City Hall clock took over.

Later it became a fire tower and later still in 1934 it was used as a radio and television research station. Now it is maintained as an historic icon of the city of Brisbane.

26 comments:

  1. Diane, I am glad to see it is there as an icon. Without the sails, it looks like a lighthouse. Great shots, have a lovely day.

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  2. Sad it has amputated of his sails, but it is a historic icon. At least it is still there.

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  3. Beautiful photographs, wonderful buildings. I am greeting

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  4. lovely old building. when I was a child, the prisoners built the roads in Georgia and also other things, they were out as chain gangs working, but they never built anything like this.

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  5. As eileeninmd says, without the sails it looks more like a lighthouse than a mill.
    If I weren't so cynical I would be surprised the authorities could build a windmill where it could not catch the wind. Still, I guess labour was cheap enough at the time.

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  6. Thank Heavens no one has destroyed it for an apartment building like they do here. :(

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  7. It was built to last! :)
    Wonderful that it was repurposed over the years and not just torn down and replaced. The time ball was quite an interesting feature.

    When I was growing up often you would see prisoners doing labor. Usually it was road work as Sandra mentioned. These days you don't see that anymore. Not even just picking up trash. Something about rights I suppose.

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  8. That is fun! How cool that they have used it for so many things. Just goes to show a sturdy building on a hilltop is quite useful!

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  9. What an interesting story about an old windmill ! Looks so strange to see such a typical Dutch thing in Australia, ol !

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  10. Lovely photos...great post! Thanks, Diane!

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  11. Beautiful picture. How is it possible you don't have any older buildings?

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  12. Diane, thank you for the history lesson, I did not know about it. Enjoyed! Herzlich T.

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  13. Interesting old building which thanking was heritage listed years ago before the developers took over, however, way back in the 1980's when I first arrived in Brisbane and was doing a diploma course, I would walk past it on the way to lectures and I have never seen the place opened.
    Does it open for viewing?
    It sure is a steep climb with all those steps up from Turbot Street.
    Cheers
    Colin

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  14. This is one of the landmarks that I remember from Brisbane. In my memory there is some association with the demonstrations against the Springbok tour in the 1970s. I was at the uni at the time but not at all politically aware.

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  15. Interesting history - shame for a windmill to have no wind though. It didn't quite fulfil that potential, even if it has fulfilled lots of others.

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  16. Joan - I believe that in the time of that Springbok tour, well before the advent of major hotel chains being built in Brisbane - Hilton, Marriot, Samford, Sofitel etc, there was a big hotel up on that area where the Springboks were staying. Thus the demonstrations in that area.
    I think the hotel is still up there on whatever street it is called. Wickham Street, maybe????

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  17. Curiosity got the better of me.
    Google this "springbok tour of Brisbane 1970's" and you will get all the information - the Hotel was the Tower Mill on Wickham Terrace, just close to that photo as shown. I have no intention of climbing all those steps again to find out if the Tower Mill Hotel is still there, but I suspect so.

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  18. It's good when icons are saved and shared; history learned by visiting places like this stays with you.

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  19. Filip and Kristel, Brisbane is on the edge of Moreton Bay , which was only discovered in 1799 by Matthew Flinders. It opened as a penal colony for English convicts in 1824. It was a gaol until 1838 when free settlers were allowed to settle. Buildings would have been flimsy shacks and didn't last. There have also been severe flooding of the Brisbane River over the decades and washed away many structures. So our historic buildings only date from 1828 and only those which survived floods have lasted. Brisbane is only a young city compared to European cities.

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  20. The history is good to know.
    Lovely windmill's.

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  21. What a beautiful building, definately looks very lighthousey, and I LOVE lighthouses!

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  22. The older I get the more I love hisotory. We welcomed the Duyfken back in to Fremantle harbour last weekend. The original was build in 1601!

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  23. sad it has no sails but i am glad to see it is there as a historic icon.

    beautiful shots, too!

    big hugs!

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  24. What a beauty! I'm a sucker for windmills, and we don't often see this type downunder here in OZ!!

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  25. It's an interesting structure :D)

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