Foundations found at Captain Cook garden

Ben Barnard and Ben Culley uncovered the foundation stones.
Ben Barnard and Ben Culley uncovered the foundation stones.

Work to rejuvenate Captain Cook’s Memorial Garden in Great Ayton has taken an unexpected, and exciting, turn!

Contractors working on creating an outline of the Cook family cottage, located in the garden until it was moved stone by stone to Australia in 1934, hit the jackpot when they found some of the building’s original foundations.

Next week (W/C Monday 11 February) archaeologists will be operating at the site to further to uncover the foundation stones.

They are hoping to find more evidence of the explorer’s early life.

Great Ayton Parish Council is funding the work by local archaeologist John Buglass and members of the village History Society. The work is being filmed for the archives – and for a display at the Captain Cooks Schoolroom Museum in the village.

Great Ayton Parish Council chairwoman Angela Taylor said: “The Parish Council – and indeed the village as a whole – were already very excited about the makeover of the Cook Memorial Garden site, but we are surprised and delighted at the unexpected discovery of a section of the original foundations.

“Although it has set completion of the project back a little, we feel it is well worth the extra time and effort, given that this is a now or never opportunity.”

The rejuvenated garden will open in May to celebrate the date in 1772 when the cottage was sold by Captain Cook’s father, bringing the family’s 35-year association with the village to an end.