Captain Cook Vase
A large broad-rimmed polished granite vase with narrow trumpet stem, on chamfered plinth and raised on stepped base. It is enclosed within railings and surrounded by a bed of plants.
The cottage where Cook was born was demolished in 1786 by Major Rudd when the latter bought the manor and estate at Marton and built Marton Hall. Rudd did, however, mark the site of the cottage with a quadrangle of flint stones.
After a fire in 1832 Marton Hall remained empty and derelict until 1853 when it was bought by Henry Bolckow (MB10 q.v) who replaced it with an imposing new Hall and converted the surrounding fields into a landscaped private park. Bolckow erected the vase in 1858.
In 1923 Marton Hall was bought by T.D.Stewart, a local businessman, in order that he might present the Hall and estate to Middlesbrough for use by the public; Stewart Park was opened in 1928. The Hall remained until 1960 when the Council decided to demolish it and replace it with a conservatory. The building was accidently burnt down during demolition and all that now remains is a stone colonnade and the vase. (2)
The birthplace and early home of the famous explorer, Captain James Cook (1728-79) - a 'low cottage, two rooms, one within the other the walls of mud and covered with thatch'.(1)
Cook joined the merchant navy in 1746 and the Royal Navy in 1755. In 1768 he commanded his first expedition to the South Pacific to witness the transit of Venus in the course of which he charted the coasts of New Zealand and made a detailed survey of the eastern coast of Australia. Four years later he made a second voyage to the South Pacific on which he did not achieve his central goal, that of discovering the southern continent, but did discover a number of islands. In 1776 he set off on a third voyage, this time in the hope of finding the North West Passage from the Pacific end. He succeeeded in making a survey of much of the north American and Siberian coasts. However, in 1779 the expedition was cut short when he was tragically killed in a scuffle with islanders on the beach at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii.
Inscribed in capitals: THIS GRANITE VASE / WAS ERECTED BY / H.W.F. BOLCKOW / OF MARTON HALL. AD. 1858 / TO MARK THE SITE / OF THE COTTAGE IN WHICH / CAPTAIN JAMES COOK / THE WORLD CIRCUMNAVIGATOR, / WAS BORN OCT. 27TH 1728
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