Cook Family Memorial Garden Reopening

Cook Family Memorial Garden Reopening

The Parish Council hope that the newly restored garden will attract more visitors to the area and increase awareness of Great Ayton and its wonderful history.

The Cook Family Memorial Garden will reopen to the public from Saturday 18th May 2019 after an extensive rejuvenation project partly funded by the LEADER Project which is the rural development fund for the UK alongside Defra and the European Union. Funding was awarded by Hambleton District Council's 'Making a Difference Fund' with support from Parish funds also.

The cottage was taken down brick by bricked and shipped over to Melbourne 85 years ago where it still stands in the Fitzroy Gardens.

Whilst the original plan was to give the garden a makeover, this then progressed to a full refurbishment including clearing the site, restoring the garden, installing a new footpath, repairing the obelisk, recreating the cottage layout and installing interpretation boards. When contractors came in to produce an outline of the building on the land they came across the original foundations of the cottage by accident. In the middle of February archaeologists, led by John Buglass, visited the site and conducted a three day dig which was visited by local schools and the press.

The Parish Council hope that the newly restored garden will attract more visitors to the area and increase awareness of Great Ayton and its wonderful history.

The opening of the garden coincides with the 250th anniversary in 2019 since Captain James Cook embarked on his first voyage to New Zealand, and the anniversary of the sale of the cottage by Captain Cook’s father on 16th May 1772.

The official reopening commences on Thursday 16th May with a special event for local dignitaries, councillors, the press and individuals involved with the project. There will be attractions open all day on May 16th as follows:

All Saints' Church and GraveyardOpen from 10.30am to 4.30pm
Captain Cook Schoolroom MuseumOpen from 10.30am to 4.30pm
Great Ayton Discovery CentreOpen from 10.30am to 5.00pm
St Margaret Clitherow RC Church ExhibitionTime TBC

The exhibition at St Margaret's will include:

  • DVD of the dismantling of the cottage and its subsequent rebuilding in Melbourne, Australia.
  • DVD of the recent excavations of the western wall of the cottage.
  • Display of children's work arising from visits to the excavations.
  • Excavation finds from the cottage and Aireyholme Farm site.
  • Part of Mrs James Cook's tea service, lent by the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum.
  • Past and present photographs of village sites associated with the Cook family.

Friday 17th May sees a special opening for schools and societies with the garden opening to the public on Saturday 18th May. The itinerary for May 18th is as follows:

Guided walking tour around the Low Green area11.00am
Guided walk to Aireyholme Farm leaving from Great Ayton Discovery Centre11.30am
Guided walking tour around the Low Green area2.00pm
Guided walk to Aireyholme Farm leaving from Great Ayton Discovery Centre2.30pm

A model of the cottage will be displayed in St Margaret Clitherow RC Church in Great Ayton for three days from 16th May and will be relocated to Great Ayton Discovery Centre on Sunday 19th May.

Please note that the daily itinerary details be subject to change by Great Ayton Parish Council.

“Article courtesy of visitgreatayton.com”