The Yorkshire cottage that became Australia's oldest building

Cooks' Cottage now stands in Melbourne
Cooks' Cottage now stands in Melbourne
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The oldest building in Australia was moved brick-by-brick from the North Yorkshire village where it first stood.

The cottage built by explorer Captain James Cook's father in Great Ayton now stands in the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne as a tribute to the man who became the first European to discover Australia.

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It was purchased in 1933 by a wealthy buyer who out-bid every other interested party and arranged for each brick to be painstakingly shipped from Hull to the state of Victoria.

Cooks' Cottage is now a popular tourist attraction surrounded by an English-style garden.

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Captain James Cook was born in Marton and grew up in the village of Great Ayton, where his father worked in farming and where he attended the local schoolroom. He would regularly scale Roseberry Topping and, at the age of 16, was sent to the fishing village of Staithes to be apprenticed to a grocer and haberdasher. Attracted to a life at sea, he was accepted into the Merchant Navy, and began his maritime career working on coal vessels owned by a Whitby family.

He later joined the Royal Navy and became famous as the man who mapped Newfoundland, made three scientific voyages to the Pacific, discovered Australia and Hawaii and circumnavigated New Zealand for the first time. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779 and has no direct descendants, as his six children all died childless.

Cook is thought to have visited his parents' 'new' home - which was built ten years after he had left the village - during breaks from his long spells at sea. It was originally put up for sale in 1933 with the condition that it remained in England - but when Australian industrialist and philanthropist Sir Russell Grimwade put in a huge £500 bid which trumped all others, the clause was changed to allow it to be transported to another part of the British Empire.

Once in his possession, every brick in the house was individually numbered before being packed into 253 cases and 40 barrels. The precious cargo departed Hull Docks on board a ship called Port Dunedin.

It was rebuilt in its new plot in 1934, and donated by Grimwade to the people of Victoria.