If so, I would highly recommend that you go and check out Cook's Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens!
Cook's Cottage serves as a memorial to the first Western man who discovered the east coast of Australia, Captain James Cook.
Cook's Cottage Origins
So, what is Cook's Cottage doing in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne?
It was originally the home of Captain James Cook's parents, James and Grace Cook and was first located in Yorkshire, England.
It is quite probable that Captain James Cook lived in this cottage with his family during his childhood years from 1736 until 1745.
After that time he left home to begin his apprenticeship with the grocer of Staithes, William Saunderson.
It is a known fact that Captain Cook spent time with his father at the cottage upon his return from his Australian voyage during the winters of 1771 and 1772.
Cook's Cottage Travels Overseas But Stays In The Empire
In 1933, Mrs. Dixon who was the last owner of the cottage decided to sell it. The prestigious Russell Grimwade of Melbourne offered to buy the cottage. Originally, there were some problems as Mrs. Dixon was very patriotic, and she felt that the cottage should remain in Britain. For this very reason, she had also turned down offers from rich Americans. However, Grimwade was able to convince her to let him buy the cottage after all, as he reminded her that Australia was "still in the empire".
Grimwade bought the cottage in 1933. He then had it taken apart into a few hundred pieces and shipped over to Melbourne. The cottage pieces arrived in Melbourne in April of 1934. The cottage had many changes made to it over the years by the various people who owned it after the Cook family. Because of this, it took a large amount of research in order for the Australian assemblers to be able to restore the cottage to its original 18th century appearance, or at least as close as they possibly could.
It took six months to finish the restoration of the cottage. Once Cook's Cottage was fully restored, it was moved to a site in Fitzroy Gardens. The large shady European trees as well as the Victorian fountains and statues in Fitzroy Gardens were considered to be an ideal backdrop for the cottage. During a centenary ceremony in 1934, Russell Grimwade turned ownership of the cottage over to Lord Mayer, H. Gengoult Smith.
Why Should You Visit Cook's Cottage In Fitzroy Gardens?
What's neat about visiting the cottage today is that it allows you to have a glimpse into what life back in 18th century rural England was really like. As you enter the cottage, you will hear a fictitious conversation taking place between James Cook, his parents and his sister Margaret, much like one of many that they would have actually had in years past.
There are also interactive maps available that let you see all three of Cooks' voyages. Additionally, you can visit the cottage garden to see some of the flowers, vegetables and herbs that were most likely used by the Cook family and their neighbours. Cook's Cottage really lets you feel what 18th century life would have been like.
Cook's Cottage is located in Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne.
It is opened daily for visitors from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with the exception of Christmas Day on which it is closed.
Combine your visit to the cottage with a stroll through Fitzroy Gardens.
It will give you a chance to relax, enjoy the park and ponder about Cook, his travels and what it has meant to Australia.