The Mayflower 400 Commemoration Programme

The Mayflower 400 anniversary is an opportunity to explore all aspects of the story and the impact of the ship's sailing through a diverse range of cultural events and projects.

Some of the highlights of our programme are listed below and more events can be found in our events listings section.

This section will be regularly updated throughout the commemoration and you can explore each element of the programme in-depth by clicking on each project to view videos, hear from the artists involved and read about the journey to each - as well as viewing event listings associated with each project.

  • Mayflower 400: Legend And Legacy at The Box

    The Box is Plymouth's new heritage attraction, opening with the Mayflower: Legends and Legacy exhibition this September.

    Its flagship opening exhibition will be Mayflower 400: Legend And Legacy, the national commemorative exhibition for the Mayflower 400 anniversary and the largest loans exhibition ever staged by the city of Plymouth.

     

    More info
    Discover More
  • Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America

    The creation of a new Wampum belt by the Wampanoag People is a project of huge cultural significance. It will tour at venues across the UK nationally as part of a groundbreaking exhibition

    More info
    Discover More
  • Speedwell

    'Speedwell' is a large-scale art installation in Plymouth, which will transform the Mount Batten Breakwater into a public forum for discussion and debate about the impact and legacy of the ship's journey, colonialism and the ecological state of our planet.

    Created by local artist collective Still/Moving, 'Speedwell' was funded by Arts Council England and Plymouth Culture as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

    More info
    Discover more
  • Settlement

    ‘Settlement’ is a digital based programme featuring art, performance, discussion and social interaction from 29 key artists Indigenous to North America and the Pacific.

    The programme showcases creative works that question the impacts of colonisation on a wide number of tribal nations who continue to thrive despite its long-term effects.

    More info
    Discover more
  • Mayflower Autonomous Ship

    The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is a highly innovative project to design, build and sail the world's first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic Ocean.

    The sailing of this ground-breaking new ship in 2021 will reflect the voyage undertaken 400 years ago when the original Mayflower left Plymouth to journey to America.

    At over 100ft in length the Mayflower Autonomous Research will be powered by state-of-the-art wind and solar technology. The revolutionary trimaran vessel will carry on board a variety of drones through which it will conduct experiments during its voyage.

    More info
    Discover more
  • The Mayflower: 400th Anniversary Special (History Hit Live)

    Well-known TV historian Dan Snow is presenting an online documentary which will air on 16 September, marking exactly 400 years to the day since the Mayflower set sail.

    'The Mayflower: 400th Anniversary Special' History Hit Live digital programme will reflect the story of the colonists, the impact their arrival had on the Native American people who helped them, and the wider colonial context of this journey.

    More info
    Watch
  • 16 September Anniversary

    The Mayflower eventually set sail from Plymouth, UK, on 16 September 1620 to start what would prove to be a treacherous transatlantic voyage to America.

    On board were more than 100 men, women and children – passengers and crew from different walks of life across England and the Dutch city of Leiden.

    More info
    Discover More
  • The Pilgrim Woman

    Rachel Carter is a textile artist who can trace her ancestors back to the very places many of the leading Pilgrims hailed from in England before they planned their voyage on the Mayflower.

    In our My Mayflower short film, Rachel talks about becoming the 'Pilgrim Woman', which involved 130 cameras taking pictures of her to create a 3D image and a final sculpture which will live in the village of Austerfield - the birthplace of William Bradford himself.

    More info
    Watch
  • A Mile In My Shoes

    At Southampton's Westquay, from 12-20 September 2020, the Empathy Museum’s 'A Mile In My Shoes' is a shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally.

    Wearing a pair of the contributor's shoes, visitors can go for a walk, listening to the shoes' original owner telling them a story.

    More info
    Read more
  • This Land

    This Land brings together two nations for an ambitious transatlantic piece of community theatre in 2021.

    This Land is an epic theatrical event marking the 400 year anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey and its impact upon arrival in America.

    Created and performed by 120 citizens of Plymouth, UK and 30 members of the Native American Wampanoag Tribe from Massachusetts, USA, This Land is the story of what happened then and what it means to us now.

    Witness the making of history with this unique and vital piece of theatre, which brings together communities from both sides of the Atlantic.

    With text by Nick Stimson and songs written and performed by Seth Lakeman.

    More info
    Discover More
  • Illuminate

    Illuminate is a spectacular festival of light taking place around the Mayflower destinations

    Here you will find details of news, events, videos and articles relating to Illuminate events planned for 2020 and 2021.

    More info
    Discover More
  • Roots Up!

    Roots Up is a pioneering mass street dance event involving people across Plymouth that will be a bold and contemporary retelling and reinterpretation of the Mayflower story

    Click the link below to watch an interview with Toby Gorniak, the founder of Street Factory, the organisation behind Roots Up!

    More info
    Watch
  • Beyond Face

    Beyond Face is a Plymouth-based performance company whose mission is to raise the profile and visibility of People of Colour in the Arts.

    Beyond Face has worked on a series of projects with Mayflower 400 including the groundbreaking 2,000 Stories, a production covering the stories ‘that have stayed with us, the ones we have forgotten and the ones we may have been forced to hear.’

    Their next production is called The Elephant in the Room. It isn’t a story about a ship, or a journey to another land. This is a story about today and six characters who are still experiencing the impact of our colonialist history, in cities that have only just begun to speak about their complex past. 

    Throughout the film, these characters are met with denial, reluctance, avoidance, ignorance and ultimately silence, as they figure out how to be seen and heard in a system that was never built for them.

    Click below to read more on the Beyond Face website.

    More info
    Discover more
  • PilgrimAGE

    On 10th May 1608, a group of separatists began their escape from the town of Gainsborough’s riverside up the River Trent to Immingham and then on to Amsterdam. They lived in Holland for 12 years before some of them then made their journey to America.

    To mark this historic date, West Lindsey District Council have launched PilgrimAGE – a digital campaign that will allow you to explore the history of the Pilgrims and their roots. 

    More info
    Discover more
  • The Hatchling

    Coming in 2021, The Hatchling will see an extraordinary, larger-than-life visitor roam through Plymouth city centre as part of a spectacular live performance that combines ancient myth with innovative puppetry.

    More info
    Discover More
  • Four Nations Commemoration

    The Four Nations Commemoration will take place in Plymouth in July 2021, a culmination of the Mayflower 400 programme involving the UK, USA, Netherlands and the Wampanoag Nation.

    This high profile theatrical production is expected to attract thousands of people to Plymouth for the ceremony which will tell the Mayflower story from multiple angles without shying away from its difficult elements and uncomfortable truths. Organisers are working closely with the Wampanoag Nation to develop the content for the event, which will include a choir of 1,000 people performing a newly composed piece of music accompanied by the Royal Marines Band plus music, actors, drama and digital content.

    You can watch a preview of the ceremony in our Virtual Voyage of Plymouth below.

    More info
    Watch
  • Mayflower videos

    As part of Mayflower 400, we are producing different video series covering all aspects of the commemorations.

    They include tours of the key locations connected to the story, as well as in-depth interviews with people involved in the programme.

    More info
    Watch
  • View from the Wampanoag Nation

    Bassetlaw Museum will welcome representatives of the Wampanoag nation, who will build a traditional wetu in the grounds of the Museum.

    The visitors will showcase their heritage through art, craft, music and storytelling, and during the visit there will also be a conference entitled 'The Wampanoag Perspective', highlighting issues of acceptance, freedom and migration.

    More info
    Discover More
Sign up for the latest Mayflower 400 news

You'll be the first to hear the latest Mayflower news, events, and more.

One of the highlights of #STTLMNT is a project titled 'The Ways We Love and The Ways We Love Better, Monumental Mov… https://t.co/hz7ry2Amx3

Follow @mayflower400uk

Mayflower 400 Proudly Supported by our National Sponsors and Funding Partners