Cooks' Cottage

Cooks' Cottage, previously known as Captain Cook's Cottage,[7] is located in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia. The cottage was constructed in 1755 in the English village of Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, by the parents of Captain James Cook, James and Grace Cook,[8] and was brought to Melbourne in 1934 by Sir Russell Grimwade.[9][10] It is a point of conjecture among historians whether James Cook, the famous navigator, ever lived in the house, but almost certainly he visited his parents at the house.[8]

Cooks' Cottage
Captain Cook's Cottage
Cooks' Cottage
Established15 October 1934 (1934-10-15)[1][2][3][4][5]
LocationFitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia[6]
Coordinates37°48′52.16″S 144°58′46.02″E / 37.8144889°S 144.9794500°E / -37.8144889; 144.9794500Coordinates: 37°48′52.16″S 144°58′46.02″E / 37.8144889°S 144.9794500°E / -37.8144889; 144.9794500

The inside of the cottage includes centuries-old antiques and is stylised in the way of the 18th century, as are the clothes of the volunteer guides.[9]


In 1933 the owner of the cottage decided to sell it with a condition of sale that the building remain in England. She was persuaded to change "England" to "the Empire", and accepted an Australian bid of £800, by Russell Grimwade, as opposed to the highest local offer of £300.[8][11]

The cottage was deconstructed brick by brick and packed into 253 cases and 40 barrels for shipping on board the Port Dunedin from Hull. Cuttings from ivy that adorned the house were also taken and planted when the house was re-erected in Melbourne. Grimwade, a notable businessman and philanthropist, donated the house to the people of Victoria for the centenary anniversary of the settlement of Melbourne in October 1934.[8]

The cottage immediately became a popular tourist attraction. In 1978 further restoration work was carried out on the cottage. An English cottage garden has been established around the house, further adding to its period reconstruction. Very few of the items in the house are from the Cook family, but all are representative furnishings of the period.

In popular cultureEdit

The cottage features in two scenes of the 2012 movie Any Questions for Ben?.[12]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CAPTAIN COOK'S' COTTAGE HANDED OVER : Presented To Victoria By Mr. Russell Grimwade: "PRECIOUS RELIC SET IN OLD=WORLD GARDEN"". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 16 October 1934. p. 16. Retrieved 6 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "CAPTAIN COOK'S COTTAGE: Presented To Victoria By Mr. Russell Grimwade". The Chronicle. LXXVII (40, 166). Adelaide. 18 October 1934. p. 49. Retrieved 6 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Mr Cyril Noisette; Captain James Cook RN; Captain Cooks Cottage (1934), Booklet - Victoria Centenary Souvenir, 1934-1935, Museum Victoria, retrieved 6 September 2017
  4. ^ Souvenir of the unveiling of the memorial to Captain James Cook : erected on the site formerly occupied by his cottage at Great Ayton, Yorks, by Mrs R. Linton ... : Monday the 15th day of October, 1934 at 3pm, County Borough of Middlesbrough, 1934, retrieved 6 September 2017
  5. ^ "Deeds of Captain Cook's Cottage". The Argus (27, 801). Melbourne. 26 September 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 6 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "CAPT. COOK'S COTTAGE. FITZROY GARDENS SITE CHOSEN". The Age (24, 551). Melbourne. 19 December 1933. p. 8. Retrieved 6 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia., ... they had decided against the National Gallery site, which was wholly unsuitable...
  7. ^ Davidson, Helen (23 January 2014). "Captain Cook's cottage vandalised with graffiti referencing Australia Day". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d The Captain Cook Society: Cook's Log, page 212, volume 6, number 3 (1983).
  9. ^ a b "Cooks' Cottage". City of Melbourne. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  10. ^ "CAPTAIN COOK'S COTTAGE. :ANOTHER CENTENARY GIFT.:Mr. Russell Grimwade's Generosity". The Argus (27, 105). Melbourne. 1 July 1933. p. 21. Retrieved 6 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ McCubbin, Maryanne (22 June 1999), "Cooked to perfection: Cooks' Cottage and the exemplary historical figure", Journal of Popular Culture, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 33 (1): 35(1), ISSN 0022-3840
  12. ^ Movie review: Any Questions For Ben?, 25 February 2012, 89.9 LightFM, ... It is great to take note of the locations – Captain Cook's Cottage, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Yarra River...

External linksEdit