LINKS to the early life of explorer Captain James Cook have been unearthed by contractors working at the family home.

Although the Cook family cottage in Great Ayton was moved to Australia in 1934 recent excavations to create a Memorial Garden revealed some of the buildings original foundations.

Next week from February 11 to 13 archaeologists are moving onto the site to dig further to uncover the foundation stones, and hopefully find more evidence of the explorer’s childhood.

Great Ayton Parish Council is funding the dig by archaeologist John Buglass and members of the village History Society. The work is also being filmed for a display at the Captain Cooks Schoolroom Museum. Local people are invited to go along to see the exploration for themselves.

"The Parish Council, and indeed the village as a whole, were already very excited about the makeover of the Cook Memorial Garden, but we are delighted at the unexpected discovery of a section of the original foundations," said Cllr Angela Taylor, Chair of the parish council.

“Although it has set completion of the project back, we feel it is well worth the extra time and effort, given that this is a now or never opportunity." The cottage was sold in 1772 by Captain Cook's father.