On the site of Cook’s birthplace in Stewart Park, Marton.
A pink granite vase, on a circular sandstone plinth with inscription quoting Cook.
On the vase is the Bolckow dedication, which is gilded.
The Vase memorial was erected by Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow in 1858 to mark the site of Captain James Cook’s birthplace cottage.
The cottage was a flimsy building and soon fell into disrepair after the last occupants left. Bartholomew Rudd eventually took over the estate in 1786, and cleared the area of East Marton village to allow the new house, Marton Lodge, to be built. Although the cottage had to be removed, its site was marked by a quadrangle of flint stones in the courtyard of the stable block. Marton Lodge burned down in 1832, and the estate became neglected.
In 1853 Henry Bolckow built a mansion there, and called it Marton Hall. Bolckow replaced the flint stones and marked the site of Cook’s cottage with the granite vase in 1858. The Hall survived until 1960 when it too was destroyed by fire.
According to the Newcastle Journal of Tuesday 11TH August 1868, HRH Prince Arthur visited the hall, and the paper reports that “the noble terrace walk extended the whole length of the south side of the hall. About 100 yards distant a beautiful fountain is placed, to mark the spot where Captain Cook was born, and, close to, there is still preserved the well which was under the kitchen of his father’s house. Near hand to these stands an apparently old ruin, called “Marton Abbey.”
In 1924 Thomas Dormand Stewart purchased the Marton Estate and presented it to the town of Middlesbrough. A public park and parkland was laid out there and opened in 1928.
One of the conditions of the deed of gift of the Stewart Park to the town of Middlesbrough was that the granite vase recording the site of Cook’s birthplace should for ever be preserved and remain on the site.
On 13th May 1935 a wreath was placed on the memorial vase by the chairman of Middlesbrough Corporation Parks Committee to commemorate the centenary of the death of Mrs James Cook.
The Monument was restored by Middlesbrough Borough Council during 2011/12.
(On the plinth)
THIS GRANITE VASE
WAS ERECTED BY
OF MARTON HALL A.D. 1858
TO MARK THE SITE
OF THE COTTAGE IN WHICH
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK
THE WORLD CIRCUMNAVIGATOR
WAS BORN OCT 27th 1728
(Around the plinth, on circular paving is the inscription)
I whose ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me,
but as far as I think it possible for a man to go.
The above is a misquotation of what Cook actually wrote on 30.1.1774 during the Second Voyage, which was:
I had ambition not only to go farther than any
man had ever been before but as far as it was
possible for a man to go.
Captain James Cook 1728 – 1779
Latitude/Longitude 54.53830°N, 1.20240°W
Thornton, Cliff, 2006. Captain Cook in Cleveland. Tempus Publishing Ltd.
Cook's Log, page 16, vol. 36, no. 3 (2013) photo
Newcastle Journal, Tuesday 11th August 1868, p.2.
Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer, Friday 7th September 1928, p.12.
Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 14th May 1935, p.4.
Image gallery (click to enlarge)