For a local group, take such topics as Captain Cook, archaeology and a mystery and you have a winning formula. The lecture played to a substantial audience and had the ingredients of an entertaining evening. The introduction to the lecture started with a story of Captain Cook’s family and where they lived, and culminated in the dismantling of the cottage in Great Ayton before it was sent to Australia. The search for the cottage took place at Aireyholme Farm near Great Ayton, a boyhood home of Captain Cook. The evidence for the dig commenced with a photograph of a vegetable plot from the 1930’s. Further evidence included literature and drawings.
On site there was an enthusiastic team under the direction of Kevin Cale. Not all of the team was experienced when they began the dig but a range of surveys were carried out, some of them sophisticated, by experts. Targets were drawn out and the sizes of the digs were limited. Nonetheless, evidence of buildings and artifacts was discovered, some not necessarily relevant to the search, but of interest.
Despite the excitement of the activity there is still no proof of the site of the cottage. The audience was, however, undeterred by this revelation and a lively session of questions and answers followed.
There is a real question to be answered here and perhaps the fun of it is that more attempts may be made. We may learn more.
In Search Of Captain Cook’s Cottage
Great Broughton Village Hall
Monday, 20th March at 7.30pm
John Rowlands (Project Manager)
Kevin Cale (Community Archaeologist)