Visiting the City of London

The City of London is at the heart of the UK's capital, the historic centre and financial district known as the iconic 'Square Mile'.

It played a pivotal role in the Mayflower’s journey that fits with the City of London's centuries-old reputation as a global leader in innovation.

With an 800-year-old history, the City of London has a wealth of museums, galleries, green spaces, bars, restaurants, churches and shops.

More than 10 million tourists visit the Square Mile every year, walking streets filled with history and heritage including internationally famous attractions such as St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Guildhall Galleries.

The Mayflower 400 programme in the City of London

The City of London is developing a brilliant programme of activity, drawing on their continuing role as a centre of commerce, their world-class heritage sites and local expertise.

Key projects include:

Believe! Tales of Faith, Freedom (and Football). Running from June until September, the City’s annual outdoor events programme focuses on the Mayflower anniversary, Becket 900 and Euro 2020. The season will explore themes of identity, faith and freedom. Under that banner, a variety of events, walks and talks will take place across the City. Go to www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/believe for more.

The Wampum Belt Exhibition. Running from the end of May to the beginning of July at the Guildhall Art Gallery. Wampum belts are the creative expression of the Wampanoag people – who met the Mayflower and ensured the survival of the new English settlers – with each shell imbued with memory and meaning. A collaboration with The Box in Plymouth, this exhibition will be the only London home in the exhibition schedule

Captain of the Ship. Running from late April through early August at the City of London Heritage Gallery. This includes a display of the parish register from St Mary’s, Rotherhithe, which has an entry for Captain Christopher Jones, master and part owner of the Mayflower

City of London and the Mayflower story

Funding for the voyage of both the Mayflower and Speedwell was raised by the London Merchant Adventurers based in City, who saw the colonisation of America as an investment opportunity.

The Adventurers recruited many of the Mayflower’s passengers, forming the group who would be known as the ‘Strangers’. They were in contrast to the ‘Saints’ - many of whom were escaping religious persecution and sailing on the Speedwell to meet the Mayflower in Southampton after the Mayflower left its port in London in 1620.

The first Governor of the Plymouth colony, John Carver, then based with the Separatist congregation in Leiden, Holland, convinced the Merchant Adventurers that if they funded the journey, they would see a return on their investment. They agreed and hired the Mayflower which sailed from London to Southampton to meet the Speedwell, the ship which brought the Separatists from Leiden.

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City of London Highlights

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