• LOCATION 31 | Essential Whitby: A Guide to the Town’s Legends, Treasures and Main Sites

    Captain Cook Museum

    You'll now see the Captain Cook Museum, on your right. Have a good look into the windows - we'll be having a short stop.

    Many will incorrectly tell you this was 'Captain Cook's house' - this is untrue. The Walker family lived here and during winter when the seas were dangerous Cook will have lived in the attic rooms.

    He should therefore be thought of as a temporary resident.

    As the plaque shows - the building dates from 1688 - the year of the Glorious Revolution here in England - and you'll see the letters M, S and D. This simply stands for the original owners of the property: Moses and Susannah Dring.

    The house itself is pretty typical of ship owners' houses throughout the period and even the attic would have been quite comfortable for the young James Cook.

    Cook's background was relatively modest, his father was a farm labourer and he was one child among eight. James was fortunate to show promise at an early age and his father's employer paid for him to attend school.

    He began his naval career in the merchant navy but joined the Royal Navy as it was expanding in preparation for what would be the Seven Years War. During this conflict, Cook spent most of his time in Newfoundland, Canada and was noted for his impressive topographical and map-making abilities.

    Cook's maps and charts of Newfoundland in the 1760s were used by the British right up until the First World War.

    When you're ready, take a left at the end of Grape Lane and head towards the clock tower.

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Essential Whitby: A Guide to the Town’s Legends, Treasures and Main Sites