Rock carvings join heritage register

Published 6:00am 20 February 2023

Rock carvings join heritage register
Words by Nick Crockford

Two arrows and a “U” carved in rock at Sandstone Point have been entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.

Made in 1867, the markings are faded, but distinct and a reminder of Queensland’s European maritime history, says the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Originally filled with lead, two arrows are about two metres apart, point southeast and are accessible on foot from Baywater Ct. However, they are submerged at high tide.

The application to heritage list the Sandstone Point Hydrographic Survey Bench Mark was made by a member of the public.

Leslie Shirreffs, Chair of Queensland Heritage Council, said the engravings were a “surveying bench mark, carved during the British Admiralty survey of Moreton Bay”.

Rock carvings join heritage register

“Now heritage listed as the Sandstone Point Hydrographic Survey Bench Mark, the markings are a physical reminder of the early work of Queensland’s maritime surveyors, in particular the survey of Moreton Bay from 1865-1868,” he said.

“This was important work, crucial to safe navigation in the bay and the development of Brisbane as a port, at a time when the capital and surrounding settlements began to grow.”

Queensland Heritage Council said it was important evidence of 19th century hydrographic surveys “retaining a high degree of integrity despite being submerged by tides for a century and a half.”

The Sandstone Point Hydrographic Survey Bench Mark, on the traditional lands of the Kabi Kabi people, is also known as Leut. Bedwell’s Hydrographic Survey Bench Mark.

“In 1860, the Queensland Government agreed to share the annual costs of hydrographic surveying, which were then about £3000, with the British Admiralty,” Ms Shirreffs said on the DES website.

Rock carvings join heritage register

The survey of Queensland waters began in 1862 and Moreton Bay (spanning the traditional lands and seas of the Quandamooka, Kabi Kabi, Gubbi Gubbi, Jagera and Turrbal First Nations peoples) in 1865.

By 1868, the entire Admiralty survey of Moreton Bay, along with the coast between Point Danger and 9.7km north of Cape Moreton, had been completed.

Ms Shirreffs said, on the DES website, listing the Sandstone Point Hydrographic Survey Bench Mark showed the variety of places that can qualify.

“But it also contains roads, bridges, railways, mining sites, burial places, public recreation areas, parks and gardens, trees, and now survey marks carved 155 years ago,” he said.

Any person, community group, organisation or government agency can apply to have a Queensland place heritage listed.

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