Obelisk, built of local sandstone, in the form of a hollow pyramid. On the top is a ‘benben’ stone, which is pyramid shape and acts as the capstone. The monument is 18 metres high (60 feet).
Built in 1827 by Robert Campion, a Whitby banker. of Bagdale House, Whitby. After appealing for subscriptions for the cost, and getting no response, Mr Campion bore the whole of the expense himself.
Mr Campion laid the foundation stone on 12.7.1827, his birthday, and it was completed on 27th October, Cook’s birthday, the same year
The Inscription was written by Dr George Young, who was “Whitby’s historian” and pastor of the United Presbyterian church in Cliff Street, Whitby.
A sketch of it from S Horsfall Turner’s ‘Yorkshire Genealogist and Yorkshire Bibliographer’ of 1890 shows it used to have a doorway.
M Heavisides, reported that the North Eastern Daily Gazette led a successful campaign to have the momument fully restored in 1895. The obelisk was repointed and the doorway blocked off, the cap repaired and the plaque and fencing added. A lightning conductor was also fitted.
In memory of the celebrated circumnavigator Captain James Cook F.R.S. A man of nautical knowledge inferior to none, in zeal, prudence and energy, superior to most. Regardless of danger he opened an intercourse with the Friendly Isles and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere. He was born at Marton Oct. 27tth 1728 and massacred at Owythee Feb. 14th 1779 to the inexpressible grief of his countrymen. While the art of navigation shall be cultivated among men. whilst the spirit of enterprise commerce and philanthropy shall animate the sons of Britain, while it shall be deemed the honour of a Christian Nation to spread civilisation and the blessings of the Christian faith among pagan and savage tribes, so long will the name of Captain Cook stand out amongst the most celebrated and most admired benefactors of the human race.
OS Grid Reference: NZ 590 101
Cook’s Log, page 1548, vol. 21, no. 4, (1998)
Cook’s Log, page 15, vol. 39, no. 4, (2016)
Yorkshire Evening Post, Friday 16th October 1936. p.19.
Image gallery (click to enlarge)