The cross made by pedestrian walking tracks from William Street to the river and Queen’s Wharf show the location of the garden of the convict-era Commandant.

The trees at the far right, near the river, indicate the lower edge of the Commandant’s Garden. His residence is above.

During the convict years of the Moreton Bay settlement, the Commandant’s residence was located high on the river bank overlooking the Commissariat. With the use of convict labour, various Commandants had worked the section of the riverbank below the residence into a garden that correspondent Thomas Dowse (Old Tom) remembered as being ‘a very pretty spot of ground’.

According to the reminiscences of Dowse, the ground between the Queen’s Wharf boat shed and what is today Margaret Street, ‘was occupied by a row of beautiful lemon and guava trees, the gravelled walk bordering the same being copied over by a trellis bearing up the branches of some splendid vines.’ Further horticultural diversification occurred lower on the bank with ‘some magnificent orange, apple and banana trees, a cluster or clump of the graceful bamboo over-arching or shading a well of pure spring water’.

By 1869, when Dowse penned his memories of the Commandant’s Garden, he could only report that nature’s handiwork had given way to the handiwork of man, in the form of ‘the steam mill, the busy mart of commercial enterprise and maritime industry’.

Additional Image

The First Ship Inn

The cross made by pedestrian walking tracks from William Street to the river and Queen’s Wharf shows where the Commandant’s Garden was located.  To the right of the cross is the Ship Inn which was well located to attract passing trade from arrivals at Queen’s Wharf (centre).