Congregational Church History with 'Pilgrims & Prophets'

Although some think the Congregational tradition started with Robert Browne of Stamford, it effectively began in England with the separatists led by Clifton, Robinson and Brewster, some of whom went to America on the Mayflower.

Their early history was written by another migrant, John Cotton of Boston. Explore the lives, land and churches of these people and meet some of the English congregations.

This is a tailored tour which can be programmed to last between one and three days, according to your needs.


Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire

Tour provider

Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours

Contact and booking


The one-day tour explores the first congregation of Richard Clifton and John Robinson through its links to the village churches of Marnham, Sturton, Babworth (subject to access), Scrooby and Austerfield, finishing with a visit to Gainsborough URC Church, which was rebuilt as a memorial to John Robinson.

For those with more time, it's recommended to take an extension of the tour to include a visit to beautiful Beauvale Priory and Greasley Church – where Robinson came to woo and marry his wife.

Another extension came be made to visit John Cotton’s Boston, the famous ‘Stump’ where he preached, and the cells in which the Pilgrims were briefly held whilst making at attempt to flee England.

You'll hear about Bradstreet, Skelton and other key migrants of the era and visit Sempringham, where the migration to Massachusetts was planned in 1629.

Finally, you can include a visit to Tolethorpe Hall where Robert Browne began his life’s journey, and nearby Grimsthorpe Castle whose owner, the Duchess of Suffolk, ran separatist congregations in London in the 1560s.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit Beauvale Priory and learn of John Robinson’s romance
  • Visit Scrooby, home of Mayflower Pilgrim William Brewster
  • Visit Boston, Lincolnshire where John Cotton was a preacher

Customisable Options

Pilgrims and Prophets can arrange additional local excursions and experiences as part of your tour. Please ask for details and prices when you make your booking enquiry.

  • Cream tea at Hodsock Priory.
  • Lincoln Cathedral choral evensong
  • Traditional English bell-ringing
  • Real ale beer-tasting
  • Europe’s largest antiques market
  • Sherwood Forest 'Red Bus' Tour

More about the package

Price: From £160 for full-day tour - excluding transport, attraction entry, church donations and lunch. Final prices confirmed on quotation.

Group size: Most group sizes can be accommodated.

Duration: Full day, 10 hours. Option to extend to two days.

Special equipment needed: Comfortable shoes and warm clothes (as the churches can sometimes be cold).

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