Figure 1: The Commissariat Store; 115 William St, Brisbane.
Travel Science: Seashells in Mortar
While visiting the Commissariat Store, we came across one of the oldest stone walls in Brisbane which had tiny fragments of sea shells embedded in it. The immediate question was why?
In the early days of Brisbane, it was used as penal colony - a place where convicts from Sydney, who broke the law, went to serve their punishment. Here they would be used to plough fields (instead of the animals), develop and maintain the colony. During this time, Brisbane did not have ready access to the limestone required to make the mortar required for stone so they improvised and used crushed seashells from Stradbroke Island (see figure 2).
Figure 2: Stradbroke Island
Simon Boman, BSc/BEd
6 October 2013