Stories From Bishop Island – 1


Hulk of the Hercules at the One Mile
Hulk of the Hercules at the One Mile

Situated at the mouth of the Brisbane River, Bishop Island was formed in 1912 as spoil from the dredge “Hercules” during the cutting of a new shipping channel.  The island took its name from A.G.Bishop, Master of the “Hercules” for this operation. Bishop Island as such no longer exists, having been incorporated into the new Port of Brisbane terminal at Fisherman Island.

Ian Kennedy in his paper Captain A.F.G.Bishop 1857-1950 presented to the Wynnum Manly Historical Society in 2002:

“A total of 4,500,000 tons of material was dredged and the spoil from ‘Hercules’ was directed to a low mud bank on the southern side of the river mouth. This formed an island about two metres above the high water mark, about 17 hectares in area. At the time, the dredge master and his crew did not give much thought to their ‘Island’ appearing on an admiralty chart, and none to its eventual future as a pleasure resort…At first the ‘Island’ was referred to as ‘Hercules Bank’ and later as ‘Wreck Island’ but, in due course, was gazetted ‘Bishop Island’.” (4)

Charles Bateson/Jack Loney:

The ‘Hercules’ was a steel dredge of 895 tons. Built at Walker-on-Tyne, 1900. Lbd 230.5 x 39.3 x II ft. Dredged the Bar Cutting at the entrance to the Brisbane river and used the silt to form Bishop Island in Moreton bay where many vessel were scuttled. She herself lies scuttled between Dunwicch and Myora in Moreton Bay.

Bunny Dickson:

In 1954, Bonty Dickson purchased the wreck of the 250 foot ex Brisbane River dredge “Hercules”, and it was towed down and put on the One Mile.  He grew oysters on trays inside the hull (after first catching them on the bedsteads), and found they would grow much quicker inside the wreck.  However to fatten them up, he still had to put them out in the sun. (1)


(1) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay People-The Complete Collection. privately published, Stones Corner, 2000

(2) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay Letters. privately published, Stones Corner, 2003

(3) Ludlow, Peter. Moreton Bay Reflections. privately published, Stones Corner, 2007

(4) Ludlow, Peter. The Port of Brisbane, Its People and Its Personalities, published by the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, 2013

2 thoughts on “Stories From Bishop Island – 1

  1. Hi, my name is Peter Graham Bishop. AFGB was my great grandfather. Lt Col AG Bishop was my Dad. I’d like to know more. Please contact me 0437 04 3324 . I turn 65 tomorrow and having lunch at Hercules St. I want to understand my country and pay respect to all peoples and better understand my place. Regards PGB


    1. Hi Peter, good to hear from you.There’s a lot more about Bishop Island in my book ‘The Port of Brisbane, Its People and Its Personalities’, which you can purchase from the outlets listed on my website (or research in your local library). Happy 65th birthday! I hope you had a great day.


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