Captain Cook Memorial Museum Whitby, Whitby

4.3
#2 of 8 in Museums in Whitby
Captain Cook Memorial Museum is in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England, 43mi north of York. The Museum is in Walker’s House which belonged to Captain John Walker to whom the great explorer, Captain Cook was apprenticed in 1746, and to which Cook returned in the winter of 1771 - 72 after his First Voyage.
The house is situated in Grape Lane on the harbour side. A plaque on the wall states that the house was built in 1688 by Moses and Susannah Dring. It is a largish building on three floors with an attic. It is regarded as a typical example of a well-to-do ship-owner’s house of the period. Much is known about the furnishings of the house from an inventory of contents taken in 1754. The two ground floor rooms are furnished according to this inventory and decorated in the original colour.
The property was bought in 1729 by the father of Captain John Walker, and became his home and place of business. He was also a captain in the merchant marine and developed the family’s shipping business. He died in 1743, and in his will (Borthwick Institute, York), divided his ships between his sons John and Henry, but left the house to them as tenants in common. The brothers allowed their mother to continue to live in the house. After the deaths of his mother and brother, John Walker moved into the house by 1755. The house remained in the family until the mid 19th century and then was used by turns as a hospital and as a private residence until rescued in 1986 to become the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.
Cook was introduced in 1746 to Captain John Walker by William Sanderson, the grocer for whom Cook had worked in Staithes, a nearby fishing village. Walker took him on as apprentice seaman for a three-year term. Cook served Walker first as apprentice, then as seaman and lastly as master’s mate until he joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He spent most of his time at sea on Walker’s colliers, mainly in the coal trade between the Tyne and London but including voyages to the Baltic and Dublin.
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Captain Cook Memorial Museum Whitby Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
665 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We paid 6 pounds to learn so much Captain James Cook, to read about his skills as a navigator and a captain and we experienced the thrill of standing in the attic were Cook resided. The displays were ...  more »
  • I came knowing very little about Captain Cook, and left knowing quite a lot! An interesting and well-maintained little museum that gave me lots to think about, an insight into how the earth was mapped...  more »
Google
  • Far too academic. Too much written material that would take many days to digest. I expected better representations of his explorations. Cook was an important part of the history of exploration, anthropology and natural history, yet there were no artifacts on show, like the spears and shields he took from Australia (as an example). The woman on reception was perfectly friendly and informative but the strange woman dressed like a Morris dancer who sat there clapping her hands on the first floor did not inspire me.
  • A wonderful gem of a museum. So informative. It is small but everything is beautifully presented. I enjoyed learning about the man and his travels. A wonderful array of artefacts is housed in the museum and the staff are fabulous. Thank you.
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