Captain James Cook RN FRS 1728-1779. James Cook, circumnavigator and explorer, attended this school which was founded by Michael Postgate in 1704. Whilst in Great Ayton James Cook lived at Aireyholme Farm on the slopes of Roseberry Topping where his father worked for Thomas Skottowe Lord of the Manor. Cook left Great Ayton in 1745 for Staithes, subsequently becoming apprenticed to John Walker, ship owner of Whitby. This plaque showing the young Cook leaving Great Ayton was executed by Nicholas Dimbleby and erected by the Captain Cook Schoolroom Trust in 1997