History of the Building

In 1824, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane, gave instructions to establish a new penal settlement in Moreton Bay. Re-offending convicts from New South Wales were sent to remote stations to do the most menial labour on a rigidly-set, monotonous and minimum diet. Punishment was the focus of the new, secondary penal stations.

The Commissariat’s primary role was to procure, store and distribute provisions to the military, convicts and colonists. The Commissariat also controlled the supply of hospital requisites and equipment, customs and banking. This stone building, commissioned by Commandant Patrick Logan, was completed in 1829.

In 1839 the costly penal settlement was effectively closed and the bulk of the convict population removed. The Store became a land sales office and then a depot for immigrants unable to be accommodated in the former Military Barracks. A separate kitchen building was constructed in the yard.

In 1860 the building was renamed the Colonial Stores. The first floor was converted into a police barracks, while the ground floor remained a storeroom. An inventory of supplies listed items such as cutlery, paper, candles, police clothing, saddlery and blankets for the Aborigines. Later, a brick storekeeper’s cottage, saddle store, stables and stationery annex were constructed in the yard.

From the mid-1880s the building was converted into sundry government offices and renamed the Government Stores. Various additions were constructed to provide more workspace. A third storey, approached by a gangway from William Street, was added in 1913.

Following renovations in 1978, the building became the headquarters of The Royal Historical Society of Queensland in 1981.

Opening hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 10am – 4pm
Thursday 10am – 4pm
Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Last entry 3.30pm


Adults – $10
Concession / Students – $8
School Pupils – $5
Family (2+2) – $20

Audio Tour

Before visiting, be sure to download our audio tour via the izi.TRAVEL app onto your compatible iOS, Android or Windows Phone device.