Convict Women's Prison and Farm

Genuine convict artefacts found on site

The Convict Women's Prison and Farm as it is today. Displays provide a glimpse into the past. The Female Barracks once stood in the area behind the silhouettes of the women hoeing.

Men at the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement were so starved of female company, the Commandants had a constant battle keeping them away from the women prisoners. The officers were the worst offenders. The original Queen Street women's prison was much too accessible, so Captain Foster Fyans had the bright idea of moving the women out to Eagle Farm.

When the Quaker missionary, James Backhouse, visited in 1836, there were 40 women at Eagle Farm. Their duties included washing, sewing, tending the farm and picking oakum (tarred fibre from wooden ships which was recycled for rope). By 1839 the penal settlement was disbanded and any remaining prisoners were sent to Sydney.

Fragments of their occupation remain today. Shards of glass and crockery, iron nails and other artefacts were found by archaeological digs. In 2014, the brick footings of the Superintendent's Quarters were uncovered in 'Time Team' style digs. Visitors can now walk around the site where the Women's Prison once stood. Artworks and interpretive panels provide glimpses of the past.

The Convict Women's Prison and Farm is at the centre of TradeCoast Central's heritage trail with the Allison Engine Testing Stands to the east and Hangar No.7 at the south west corner of the site. The best access to the Women's Prison site is via the southern carpark on Backhouse Place directly outside the Interpretive Centre located on level 1 of the main building. Convict artefacts are on display in the Interpretive Centre.

The pages in this section of our web site will give you an insight into life in early Brisbane and life for the women prisoners of Eagle Farm.

87 Schneider Road EAGLE FARM QLD 4009

Opening hours 10am - 4pm
Monday - Friday
Group Tours - Contact (07) 3124 7401

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