Cooks' Cottage was originally built in the village of Great Ayton in Yorkshire, England in 1755, by James and Grace Cook, parents of the famous explorer Captain James Cook.
In 1933 the Cottage came up for sale and it was suggested to the Melbourne philanthropist, Russell Grimwade (later Sir Russell), that he purchase the cottage as a centenary gift for the people of Melbourne.
Although there were issues with allowing the cottage to be moved to another country, Russell Grimwade was able to convince the owner that although the cottage would be moved to another country, it would still remain as part of the Commonwealth. This was accepted and Russell Grimwade purchased the Cottage for 800 pounds.
To move the cottage, it had to be dismantled and then each brick numbered, put into 253 cases and 40 barrels crates and shipped to Melbourne, where it arrived in April 1934. The cottage was then rebuilt in the heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens and opened to the public on 15 October 1934.
Today it is the oldest building in Australia and a popular tourist attraction combining modern interpretations of Captain Cook's adventures, centuries old antiques and a delightful cottage garden. Cooks' Cottage is a wonderful step back in time.
The cottage is maintained by the City of Melbourne.