“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, April 20, 2012

A walk through Fitzroy Gardens in the centre of Melbourne...

When you see the picture below you would be forgiven for thinking that I had taken this photo whilst in the UK.
This quaint little cottage just shouts Britain to me and the fact that the sun isn't shining just reiterates that fact. But this little cottage is in fact Captain Cook's original cottage but it's here in Melbourne.
It was originally built in 1755 in Great Ayton, Yorkshire, England and purchased in 1933 by Sir Russell Grimwade as a centenary gift to the people and State of Victoria.
When Melbourne celebrated its centenary in 1934 the cottage was moved, brick by brick from Great Ayrton. It was shipped in 253 crates complete with a ivy cutting which had grown on the original building. Today the house is covered by the ivy and situated in the picturesque Fitzroy Gardens, in the centre of Melbourne to commemorate the voyages of Captain James Cook, discoverer of Australia.

In 1933, the last owner of the cottage, Mrs. Dixon put the cottage up for sale and it was suggested that it would make an ideal focus piece for Victoria's centenary in 1934. The prominent Melburnian Russell Grimwade agreed to buy the cottage and present it as a gift to the Victorian people. However, a difficulty arose in that the patriotic Mrs. Dixon had stipulated that cottage should remain in Britain. She had rejected offers from wealthy Americans for this reason, but she was persuaded to accede to Victoria's claim on the cottage as Australia was, after all, still "in the Empire".




The cottage was purchased by Russell Grimwade in 1933, dismantled, and shipped to Melbourne in 253 packing cases, arriving April, 1934. As the cottage structure had been altered considerably by a succession of owners following the Cook family's occupation, its Australian assemblers had the task of restoring the cottage as accurately as research and guess work would permit to its mid 18th century appearance.

A site in the Fitzroy Gardens was selected to complement the cottage with its large shady European trees and the construction work was completed in six months. The cottage was handed over to the Lord Mayor, H. Gengoult Smith by Russell Grimwade on the 15th October, 1934 during a centenary ceremony.

The cottage has undergone two restorations. The first was undertaken in the late 1950's and the most recent in 1978, when a thorough effort was made to investigate and restore the building, furnish it with material appropriate to the period, and surround it with a garden of eighteenth century character.


Cook's Cottage celebrated its 75th Anniversary in Melbourne on Saturday 17 October, 2009 in the Fitzroy Gardens. 
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After taking our trip back in time we then wandered into another of Melbourne's favourite tourist attractions, the Conseratory. It was opened in March 1930, providing over 70 years of spectacular floral displays. The Building copies the Spanish mission architectural style and originally costing 4,000 pounds.

Unfortunately I now realise that I didn't take a photo of the outside....ho hum... but inside there's a feast for the eyes!


Everything looked so healthy and alive!

A little bridge leading nowhere in particular...I can't resist them....

I always feel so much better when looking at beautiful plants...it makes my heart sing


How wonderful to be able to come into this place to visit during your lunch break or to sit outside in the gardens, or just rest awhile...music quietly played smoothing the ears whilst the plants soothed the eyes.

Because you could quite easily forget that you where in the centre of the busy CBD....

I'm afraid that that is all I have time for today...I must get on because we are off to explore again.
I hope you enjoyed your quick visit to Fitzroy Gardens but if you want to see or know more just click on the link.  
Have fun everyone ~ don't forget to keep smiling :D

12 comments:

  1. This brings back so many memories! I used to study and write my essays for Uni under the shade of the trees in these gardens. I was supposed to be concentrating on grades and theory but somehow staring at that cottage always sent me off on an Austen Adventure!! :-) Xx

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    1. I love the fact that there are so many of these parks throughout Melbourne and the suburbs...they really are special places to visit and enjoy.
      Glad you had a trip down memory lane :D
      Have a wonderful weekend xox

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  2. What beautiful gardens Neesie! You would think those cottages are in England. How wonderful. It must feel like a little bit of home down under. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Hi Marie,
      Now you can see why I don't really feel homesick...most of the time I forget I'm on the other side of the world!
      Have a great weekend :D

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  3. Amazing pictures. I love that little cottage, so much history. Thanks for sharing. Zo xx

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    1. Hi Zo,
      Its so cute isn't it....inside had all the clothes and furniture. There was even a recording of the daily activities that freaked us out because suddenly a child started talking!
      Have a great weekend :D

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  4. Such beautiful pics Nessie, love the cottage and those gardens are just stunning!!!Thanks for sharing Hugs May x x x

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    1. I'm glad you've enjoyed your visit May.
      Have a great time WOYWW and I hope to nip in for snoops when I can.
      Enjoy your weekend :D

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  5. We have been to the Fitzroy gardens.They are so pretty.
    When we were there last the fruit bats were quite a problem. I think they moved to SA.

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    1. I'm not sure if the fruit bats are still a problem Judy...we visited at midday.
      Thanks for popping over to visit...enjoy your weekend ;D

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  6. How interesting to read your post. Very informative and the pictures, they are awesome. Thanks for sharing:)

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure Joy. I'm just so glad to hear that you're enjoying your visits :D

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