On this site stood a house occupied for some years by Captain James Cook RN FRS 1728-1779 circumnavigator and explorer

The London County Council erected a standard terracotta wreathed plaque commemorating James Cook at 88 Mile End Road in 1907, but the house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1959. The plaque was shipped to Australia (with one of the chimney pots) as a gift to the Trustees of Captain Cook's Landing Place, and still exists. A decade later, the Australian High Commission asked the GLC to put a new plaque on the site of the house, a large non-standard slate tablet being chosen to signify the importance of the location of Cook's former residence.