Sited on one of the small islands in Lord Temple’s gardens at Stowe.
Originally the monument had a small granite sarcophagus at the top. Then a terrestrial globe was placed on the pedestal, which was of soft limestone. This is now lost.
Cook’s profile is on a medallion at the north side of the pedestal
The finial, dated 1974, was constructed in two parts, the lower section was a hollow concrete box, with a central void filled with coarse gravel aggregate. The external surface is coated with fine grey sand which resembles stone. The upper section of the finial is of identical grey concrete mix with external coating of sand particles. The finial shape is of two interconnecting barrel vaults, probably intended to crudely resemble the shape of a stone sarcophagus.
The Stowe garden was begun in the 1680s by Sir Richard Temple, 3rd Baronet Stowe
Earl Temple who had the monument set up, died in 1779.
In 1778 the Cook monument was placed on an island, in the ‘Elysian Fields’ area of the garden.
The Seeley guidebook of 1788 described the globe as depicting the Equatorial and Tropical lines of global circumference.
It was then moved on the south end of the river just north of the shell bridge.
In 1998 the Stowe Project Team removed the monument from its position at the southern end of the Alder River and was re-erected on its original site. In 2002 it was placed at its original 1778 location on an island in the Alder River.
It was unveiled at its new location in mid-2002.
(On the pedestal, central marble panel on south elevation)
JACOBO COOK MDCCLXXVIII
(On the globe) is part of a quotation of the Roman poet Horace from the story of Anchites, a sailor who, like Cook, was killed at sea:
Te mar is & terrae numeroque carentis arenae Mensorem
(Twas thine to track the ocean’s endless round, each distant
shore, and earth’s extremest bound)
Latitude/Longitude: 52°01’51.18”N, 1°00’50.97”W
Cook's Log, page 9, vol. 28, no. 4 (2005)
Cook's Log, page 9, vol. 35, no. 4 (2012) 2003 photos and measurements
Image gallery (click to enlarge)