The House on the Harbour
The Museum is housed in a 17th century house on the harbourside. In 1746 James Cook, then aged seventeen, came here to be apprenticed to Captain John Walker. This is the sole surviving building which can with certainty be connected to Cook.
Built in 1688, the house shows what a Whitby master-mariner's dwelling was like - both a comfortable home and the centre of the family shipping business. It retains much of its original internal decoration and has been meticulously restored.
Atmospheric and evocative, there was no display or extravagance, in accordance with Quaker principles. The colours are based on the original ones and create an impression of calm restfulness.
When you walk round this 17th century house, you will be walking in the footsteps of the young Cook. The broad floorboards in the Blue Room are the original ones. Look out for the door which is bent to fit the curve of the panelling. This was a town full of skilled shipwrights and carpenters!
Passing through the Orientation Room and the former kitchen, the ground floor rooms are furnished according to an inventory made in the early 1750s. The upper floors follow Cook's life and career from Whitby to Canada, through the great Voyages to the 'Ends of the Earth'. Finally, up to the attic, with its high beams, some re-used from old ships, and drink in the atmosphere. The view over the harbour gets better and better the higher you get.