60 SMITH STREET
CLEVELAND QLD 4163
(07) 3286 3494

Colonial Axe Head

Object Number: R16740

This axe head was excavated during earthworks on Cleveland Showground in 2005. After a thorough cleaning and examination, it became apparent that it was definitely made by a blacksmith. Research reveals that it is of a style made in the UK by British Naval and Military blacksmiths between 1680 and 1720. It was used as a felling axe and may have been brought to Queensland during the convict era. Between 1824 and 1842 convicts were employed cutting timber in the Moreton Bay region. The heel of the axe head is broken, and there is clear evidence that it has been repaired several times. It was probably old and well-worn by the time it was brought to Moreton Bay. By that time, forged axe heads of a more modern style were available, and when this one broke one more time it was lost or discarded. Whatever the story, it provides a solid link to the very early Moreton Bay convict period.  This object was donated to our collection by Paul Jones, in 2016.