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Captain Cook's house

Building  From 1764  To 1960

Categories: Property

Countries: Australia

Note: this is not Cooks' Cottage - that started life in North Yorkshire and in 1933 was moved to Melbourne, Australia, to celebrate the 1934 centenary of that city's foundation. It was replaced with a memorial of Australian stone (1938 film about this).

From Captain Cook Society: "Cook married a Wapping girl, and they lived at Shadwell before taking the house in Mile End Road. The house in its last days was a shop (a Kosher butcher's) but in Cook's time was a comfortable small house, in a region that still retained rusticity.
When the house was condemned in 1960 it was offered to the Australian and British Columbian Governments as a building of historic interest. Neither felt that the expense of moving it was justified {unlike the cottage}. Consequently this old landmark disappeared. The site is now owned by the Curtis Distillery Co."

However it seems part of the house did find its way to Australia - read on. The picture source says that this was the home of the Cook family from about 1764 - 88 when Elizabeth Cook {his widow} moved to Clapham. And that the terracotta-coloured plaque, that you can see in the photo, is now in Australia with one of the chimney pots.

Certainly the chimney pot location is supported by an Australian 2005 paper which refers to it as being at Captain Cook’s Landing Place, Kurnell, Botany Bay, but makes no mention of the plaque. If you have further information (and some photos?) please contact us. We would love to extend London Remembers out to Australia - we already have toes in India and the States.

The photo is c.1936 and the source says the house was demolished to improve access to the buildings behind. How annoying then that by 1968 the house was replaced with a brick wall so whatever benefit its demolition brought was short-lived (maximum of 8 years) but the house is gone forever.

And then we learn that Captain Cook never actually lived in the cottage that was moved to Australia (his parents did, after he had left home). What a shame no one needed a centre-piece for centenary celebrations in the 1960s.

Spitalfields Life article has more photos of the site.

See William Blake's house - that also got demolished despite having a plaque.

See other memorials in this area

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Captain Cook's house

Information Commemorated at

Captain Cook - E1

{Left-most panel:} He surveyed the St Lawrence River in 1759. In three voyag...

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Captain Cook - E1 - lost plaque

This terracotta-coloured plaque is supposedly now in Australia with one of th...

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