Drill Shed Marches into Heritage Register
A former military training drill shed, and its adjacent caretaker’s cottage and orderly room, located in Water Street, Fortitude Valley, have been entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.
Queensland Heritage Council (QHC) Chair, Professor Peter Coaldrake, said the three colonial-era buildings were constructed in 1884-1885 as part of Queensland’s response to perceived external threats in the 1870s and 1880s.
"The three defence buildings are significant in that they are rare surviving examples of military training and support infrastructure constructed during the pre-Federation period in Queensland," Professor Coaldrake said.
"The large timber drill shed was built for training infantry units of the Queensland Volunteer Force, prior to the creation of the Queensland Defence Force.
"It is also the oldest known surviving drill shed in Queensland and is the last survivor of Brisbane’s pre-Federation drill sheds, retaining its large hall area with office and armoury rooms arranged along one side".
Professor Coaldrake said that as a pair, the drill shed and its accompanying caretaker’s cottage may be a unique surviving example in Queensland.
"The third building, the orderly room, was built in 1885 for the Moreton Mounted Infantry and survives as the core of the office building south of the drill shed," he said.
"The buildings served as military training, accommodation and administration facilities for over 100 years, and as a group, the three colonial-era defence buildings are extremely rare.
"In 1901, the drill shed, along with the caretaker’s cottage and orderly room, were transferred to the Commonwealth and were moved from their original site in Boundary Street, Fortitude Valley to their current site in 1925.
"They have served a number of Brisbane based units of the Queensland Defence Force, and later the Australian Military Forces, the 2nd Australian Imperial Force, the Citizen Military Forces and the Army Reserve, from 1885 to 1988," he said.
The Queensland Heritage Council is the State’s independent peak body and advisor on heritage matters and determines what places are entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.
Places that are entered in the Heritage Register are considered of importance to Queensland’s history and are protected under heritage legislation.