William Pearson Ghostsign, Great Ayton

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This sign is visible on the side of Coopers Chemists in Great Ayton. Its still fairly clear and I read it as :-

Wm Pearson, Builders & Depot for Builders Materials

Great Ayton, William Pearson Builders

In the 1901 census there is a William Pearson, 52 Builder Contractor living at Well Cottage. He built the terrace known as Pearson Ville and also the house that became the Worthy Pearsons shop owned by his descendants.

Blue Lagoon / Nunthorpe Quarry / Langbaugh Quarry / Donkey Pond / Lonsdale Quarry

This is something that gets commented on again and again, even many years after my original post on one of the locations. I think the main reason for all the confusion is there are at least three sites, all in disused whinstone quarries, all look similar.
The name ‘Blue Lagoon’ never appears on maps either so your ‘Blue Lagoon’ might not be someone elses ‘Blue Lagoon’

I believe the location most people who visited in the 1970’s would have known as the Blue Lagoon was around Langbaugh Quarry and Nunthorpe Quarry, between Great Ayton and Nunthorpe, now the location of the Whinstone View Bistro.
The 1970s OS map shows three pools here, which also ties in with peoples recollections of being able to dive under the water and emerge in other areas.
This location no longer exists, it was filled in, as you can see from aerial views today.

In more recent times people have started to call the Donkey Pond the ‘Blue Lagoon’, this is about 0.5 mile E of the Gribdale Gate car park, also an old whinstone quarry.
Donkey Pond, Gribdale, Flooded Whinstone Workings

The third location is Lonsdale Quarry which is on private property about 0.5 miles NE of Kildale. This location was used by Jack Hatfield to practice swimming for the 1912 Olympics.


Here’s a recent photo by a friend who had permission to visit.

Over the years i’ve picked up a couple of photos, its hard to say which location is which and i’m afraid I don’t recall where I got them from so if they are yours let me know so I can credit you.
Blue LagoonRay Simpson between Great Ayton and Nunthorpe 1958 / 59
Blue Lagoon2

Anglo-Saxon Dragon, St Oswalds, Newton under Roseberry

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Parts of the church are thought to date from the 12th century although the main tower is from 1901 by Temple Moore.St Oswalds, Newton Under Roseberry
During repairs in 1827 this stone depicting a dragon attacking a horse/cow/panther (opinions vary) was discovered under the floor, it is thought to be Anglo-Saxon.
St Oswalds, Newton Under Roseberry
A stone coffin was also found under the floor at the same time.St Oswalds, Newton Under Roseberry

Ayton Banks – Aerial Ropeway

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I’ve previously posted photos of Ayton Banks when it was heavily overgrown.

The foundations of the terminal of the ropeway have since been cleared of brambles and weeds and are now much more visible.
Ayton Banks Ropeway
The ends of two steel ropes from the ropeway can still be seen anchored into the concrete.
Ayton Banks Ropeway
Ayton Banks Ropeway

The 1928 OS map shows the cable running from the mine site about 2km to railway sidings near Cliff Rigg Quarrybanks

Captain Cooks Family Grave

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All Saints Church in Great Ayton contains the graves of James Cook’s mother and five of his brothers and sisters.
Captain Cooks family grave
My interpretation of the inscription :-

“To the Memory of Mary & Mary, Jane & William.
Daughters and Son of James and Grace Cook.
Mary died June the 30th 1737 in the 5th year of her age.
Mary died June the 17th 1741 aged 10 Months & 6 days.
Jane died May the 12th 1742 in the 5th year of her age.
William died July(?) the 29th 1747/8 aged 2 yrs 12 months 16 days 7 hours.
and also John their son died Sept the 20th 1750 aged 23 years”
Captain Cooks family grave, Grace Cook

“In memory of Grace Cook who died Feb 18th 1765 aged 63 Years and of James Cook who was buried at Marske April 1st 1779. The above James and Grace Cook were the parents of the celebrated circumnavigator Captain James Cook who was born at Marton Oct 27th 1728 educated in this village and killed at Owhyhee Dec. 14th 1779”

This inscription is actually incorrect as Cook was killed on Feb 14th 1779

Captain Cooks family grave

Cooks father is buried at St Germains in Marske

Obelisk at location of Captain Cooks family cottage – Great Ayton

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This obelisk marks the location Captain Cooks family cottage.
Captain Cooks Cottage Obelisk - Great Ayton
The cottage itself was shipped to Australia for the Centenary of Melbourne in 1934 where is still stands in Fitzroy Park. The cottage was built by Cooks parents in 1755 so its unlikely Cook himself actually lived there as he moved away to Staithes in 1745.
Captain Cooks Cottage Obelisk - Great Ayton
Captain Cooks Cottage Obelisk - Great Ayton
The obelisk is constructed with stone from near Point Hicks which was the first part of Australia spotted by Lieutenant Hicks from the Endeavour. It is a replica of an obelisk that stands there.

The unveiling of the obelisk was actually captured and is available on the Pathe Website.

UPDATE : A friend of mine has recently visited the cottage in Australia, so many thanks to Eric for the photo.