Burnett Lane

CBD

Brisbane’s oldest lane dates from convict days when the block it cuts through on the Queens Street side was the site of the Prisoner’s Cells and Barracks, and the Superintendent of Convicts residence. When four cottages were built on the Adelaide Street side, the laneway was built for access to them.

The lane takes its name from Brisbane’s first surveyor James Burnett, who died at 39 and is now profiled on the rear wall of one of the Queen St buildings. Archaeologists have pinpointed the paved Burnett Lane as having been built over the Prisoner’s Barracks Yard, where the settlement’s first hanging occurred in 1830.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Shoppers strolling down the Queen Street Mall and window shopping where the Myer/Allan & Stark building stands today would have been treated to a very different sight had the year been 1828. Then, there was a broad archway that extended about 10 metres through an open hallway in the centre of the three storey stone Queen Street Prisoner’s Barracks and within it was a ‘flogging triangle’, so placed for all convicts new and old to see. In 1828, 1,100 lashes were meted out to 200 convicts, 128 of them taking the brunt with 50 or more of these whippings.

After the penal settlement closed, the Queen Street side housed the first Town Hall which was built there in 1864 and operated until the current City Hall was built. After the barracks and other convict buildings were demolished, the late 19th century buildings which still front Queen St were constructed, including the Andrea Stombucco-designed (1881) Allan & Stark Building which was later added to by Richard Gailey. Myer purchased it in 1970 along with the building fronting Adelaide Street across Burnett Lane and during those retail years, the lane was a hive of delivery truck activity.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Appearing in 2016, Burnett Lane became home to one of Brisbane’s tiny doors, courtesy of environmental artist, Mace Robertson.

Finding this tiny door in Burnett Lane - plus other delights just a little further along in the lane like the lone blue duck - on a discovery trail to explore the hidden gems of Brisbane's CBD is a perfect activity for children, and a great introduction to the history of Brisbane.

Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Ready to explore more? Check out our guide here on more of Brisbane's funky and interesting laneways.

Or, if you've worked up a thirst or an appetite, perhaps a visit to Felix for Goodness, Super Whatnot Bar, Alba Bar & Deli or Death & Taxes is on the agenda.

Burnett Lane  

Off Albert St

Brisbane

Map

Burnett Lane, Brisbane, Queensland

Top Things To Do In Brisbane This Week

An unforgettable live music experience celebrating Creedence Clearwater Revival
A fascinating look back at how laidback subtropical Brisbane saw itself
Join Becky for a big night of laughs at Brisbane Powerhouse
Learn about the artworks around Brisbane city on this free night tour 
A weekend of opera and chamber music set in an historic homestead
A fabulous 3 day community festival of all things retro
Treasury Brisbane’s popular Wine & Cheese series returns
Journey to the sun-kissed isle of Santorini
Eats & Beats is back on Friday, June 25!
EDITOR'S PICK

European Masterpieces from The Met

The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition features works by Rembrandt, Turner, van Gogh, Monet, Degas and many more
European Masterpieces from The Met
MUST DO

Boo's Kitchen

This hidden gem of a Thai restaurant is the go-to for a unique & traditional taste of north Thailand
Boo's Kitchen
THIS WEEKEND

Top Things to Do Jun 18-20

From wine tastings to European winter markets & cosy cabins in the woods, some of the best things to do this weekend
This Weekend Jun 18-20
MUST DO GUIDE

Winter School Holidays Jun 26-Jul 11

Keep the kids off the screens this holiday with these 20+ great shows, activities, workshops and events
June July School Holiday Guide
Feel right at home in nature
CONTENT RESUMES ON SCROLL
ADVERTISEMENT