Mayflower 400 Plymouth Event Programme - Latest Position

New dates have been announced for key events within the Mayflower 400 event and culture programme that will now relaunch from this August and run through to July 2021.

Following the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, the main programme, supported by Arts Council England, will now start in Southampton from 15 August with Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America, a national touring exhibition curated by The Box, Plymouth and the continuing search for a lost treasure of indigenous America.

This will be followed with an online documentary presented by well-known TV historian Dan Snow on 16 September, marking 400 years to the day since the Mayflower ship set sail.

The documentary will reflect the story of the Pilgrims’ journey, its impact on the Native American people who helped them when they first arrived and the wider context of colonialism around this journey. It will also include a look at some of the cultural projects involved in the programme.

The Mayflower 400 programme will then run through to 2021 culminating with a Four Nations Commemoration Ceremony involving the USA, Netherlands, UK and Wampanoag nations on July 11 next year.

The anniversary programme will importantly involve representatives from the Wampanoag nation who will tell their side of this story in their own words for the first time having been censored or not included in previous anniversaries.

The Mayflower 400 programme

Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America


New touring dates: the exhibition, curated by The Box, Plymouth, will tour to SeaCity Museum, Southampton (15 August to 18 October 2020), Guildhall Art Gallery, London (8 January to 14 February 2021) and The Box Plymouth (15 May to 19 July 2021)
.

A Mile in My Shoes

Southampton - 12-20 September 2020

The Empathy Museum were due to visit Southampton in June with A Mile in My Shoes – originally as part of Refugee Week - but this has now been moved to September, with nine events planned.


A Mile in My Shoes is a shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else's shoes – literally. Housed in a giant shoebox, this roaming exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared humanity.


From a Syrian refugee to a sex worker, a war veteran to a neurosurgeon, visitors are invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a stranger while listening to their story. The stories cover different aspects of life, from loss and grief to hope and love and take the visitor on an empathetic as well as a physical journey.

Mayflower 400 year anniversary

16 September 2020


The anniversary day will see a 60-minute online programme presented by BBC history expert Dan Snow available on the History Hits channel and also on the Mayflower 400 website.

Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy

The Box, Plymouth – 29 September 2020 to 18 September 2021

Legend and Legacy will be the largest commemorative Mayflower exhibition in history and will include over 300 objects. The exhibition has been co-curated with the Wampanoag Native American Advisory Committee.

This Land

Theatre Royal Plymouth – April 2021


Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP) will stage its first-ever international community production, titled This Land. 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.

Directed by Alan Lane and produced by TRP, it also features text by Nick Stimson and songs written and performed by Seth Lakeman.

‘Roots Up!’ by Street Factory

Barbican and the Hoe, Plymouth - 22 May 2021


A bold and contemporary mass street dance on The Hoe in Plymouth aiming to get 1,000 people from all walks of life participating in this representation of the Mayflower 400 values led by the award-winning Street Factory hip-hop group in Plymouth.

Wampanoag Wetu and Wampanoag Perspective Conference

June 2021


Bassetlaw Museum are hosting representatives of the Wampanoag Nation in June 2021. While in North Notts, Wampanoag representatives will build a traditional wetu in the Museum Gardens, lead sessions with local school children and deliver the key-note presentation at the Wampanoag Perspective Conference.

Mayflower International Festival including Mayflower Four Nations Ceremony

8-11 July 2021

The key events that would have formed Mayflower Week, originally due to take place in September 2020, have moved to next July 2021 and comprise:

  • Rehabilitation Triathlon hosted by the Royal Marines: 8 July 2021
    Mayflower Muster: 10 July 2021
    Mayflower Four Nations Public Ceremony: 11 July 2021

The main ceremony on 11 July will involve a major public event on The Hoe in Plymouth comprising a 1,000-voice choir, the Royal Marines orchestra, a depiction of the Mayflower story and representation from the four nations – UK, USA, The Netherlands and, for the first time, the Wampanoag nation.

Pete Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “It’s been an extraordinarily challenging year, but we’re delighted to be able to carry so much of the Mayflower 400 commemorative programme into 2021.

"A huge amount of work has already gone into all of these events, so it’s fantastic that locals and visitors will still be able to enjoy what is an impressively varied and creative programme throughout the next year. 
 
“The finale will be the spectacular Mayflower Four Nations Public Ceremony on the Hoe; it’s going to be an unmissable event which brings together all four nations involved to reflect on the Mayflower story.” 

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of Mayflower 400, says: "After all the recent uncertainty, I’m delighted that we’re finally in a position to confirm the key elements of the Mayflower 400 programme starting now and taking us through to next July.

"We look forward to people across the country engaging with these remarkably diverse activities and the raft of other smaller Mayflower community projects based on the voyage and its many impacts."

  • Planning on visiting Plymouth? Discover all the latest visitor information and events on the Visit Plymouth website and go to Shop4Plymouth for the latest re-opening details.

Plymouth and the Mayflower story

The Mayflower and Speedwell were 300 miles clear of Land's End when the smaller ship once more began leaking badly and couldn't risk continuing. They turned about for Plymouth.

By this time the cramped and damp passengers had already spent up to six weeks at sea, with a fair wind and good fortune they would have hoped to be closing on their destination by then. The Speedwell was finally declared unfit for the journey. Some of the Pilgrims dropped out; the remainder crowded onto the Mayflower, which required re-provisioning, despite funds running low.

She left on 16 September with up to 30 crew and 102 passengers on board. Just under half of them were Separatists, but all the passengers came from a variety of backgrounds and places all over England and from Leiden in the Netherlands - with lots of different motivations for travelling.

It is believed the Pilgrims arrived in a Plymouth that was maritime town trading with ports and places all over England and the into the Mediterranean. Some of the bustling port of 1620 still survives today with historic buildings such as Island House, the Elizabethan House and the old customs house still standing.

Island House, situated on Southside Street, dates from between 1572 and 1600 and is reputed to be one of the houses the Pilgrims were entertained in prior their departure for America.

New Street Plymouth

The Elizabethan House is found on New Street (pictured above) and represented a relatively new area of the town’s development in 1620, as the street dates from 1584, the year English ships sailed to Roanoke and created England’s first colony in America.

The Protestant community were also sympathetic to the Pilgrims cause. Plymouth had a long Protestant tradition and the port had been previously used as a base for fighting Protestant England's war against Catholic Europe.

When the Speedwell and Mayflower anchored in Plymouth, many families in the town had seen their men sail off to fishing grounds in New England and Newfoundland. They were probably aware too that the end of August was too late to set sail across the Atlantic and their men were due to return home.

The ship-builders in Plymouth said the Speedwell was unfit to cross the Atlantic, the Mayflower would therefore have to travel alone. There was not enough room for everyone on board one ship but, by then, some Pilgrims had already lost heart or were simply too weak to continue the journey by sea.

But the Pilgrims pressed on, with a unimaginable difficult journey ahead of them - one that would have consequences for history that they could not have contemplated.

Supported by our national sponsors and funding partners

Plymouth Mayflower Highlights

  • Mayflower Events
  • Attractions
  • Accommodation

01 Jan-30 Jun 21

Directions Screening 3: Utopian Landscapes (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

01 Jan-30 Jun 21

Some Call It Home (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

01 Jan-30 Jun 21

Plymouth and District Organists’ Association (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

Smeatons Tower Plymouth Hoe

01 Jan-30 Jun 21

University of Plymouth: Britain and the World 2020 Conference (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

01 Jan-30 Jun 21

Plymouth Philharmonic Choir (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

29 Sep-18 Sep 21

Mayflower 400: Legend And Legacy

Plymouth, England

16 Sep 20

Dan Snow's History Hit: Mayflower 400 - Steering our future, informed by the past

Plymouth, England

04 Sep-30 Nov 20

Speedwell

Plymouth, England

01-31 Oct 20

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in October

Plymouth, England

10 Oct 20

The Story of the Mayflower

Plymouth, England

24 Oct 20

UK Each/Other weekly sewing circle launch

Plymouth, England

01-30 Nov 20

Plymouth Symphony Orchestra (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

01-30 Nov 20

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in November

Plymouth, England

17 Nov 20

Blood Memory UK

Plymouth, England

Love and Fury Film Screening / Q&A Zoom with Director Sterlin Harjo

Plymouth, England

18 Nov 20

The Mayflower Story - A Conspiracy?

Plymouth, England

20 Nov 20

Still/Moving 'In Conversation'

Plymouth, England

01-31 Dec 20

University of Plymouth Choral Society (Date TBC)

Plymouth, England

01 Dec-31 Jan 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in December and January

Plymouth, England

18-21 Feb 21

Illuminate Plymouth

Plymouth, England

01-28 Feb 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in February 2021

Plymouth, England

01-31 Mar 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in March 2021

Plymouth, England

01-30 Apr 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in April 2021

Plymouth, England

29 Apr-06 May 21

Mayflower 400 Quilt Exhibition

Plymouth, England

15 May-19 Jul 21

Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America

Plymouth, England

01-31 May 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in May 2021

Plymouth, England

22 May 21

Roots Up! by Street Factory

Plymouth, England

09 Jun-03 Jul 21

400: A Historical Comedy

Plymouth, England

01-30 Jun 21

Mayflower 400 - Get Active in June 2021

Plymouth, England

Smeatons Tower Plymouth Hoe

08-11 Jul 21

Mayflower International Festival

Plymouth, England

08 Jul 21

The Rehabilitation Triathlon, hosted by the Royal Marines

Plymouth, England

10 Jul 21

Mayflower Muster

Plymouth, England

11 Jul 21

Mayflower 400 Four Nations Ceremony

Plymouth, England

28 Aug 21

Mayflower International Genealogical Conference

Plymouth, England

Mayflower Museum

Mayflower Museum

Visitor Attraction

The Mayflower Museum explores the story of the voyage of the Pilgrims and their journey aboard the Mayflower.

The Black Friars Plymouth Gin Distillery

The Black Friars Plymouth Gin Distillery

Visitor Attraction

The oldest working gin distillery in England. The Pilgrims are thought to have dined here on the eve of the Mayflower departure.

The Mayflower Steps

Monument / Memorial

A monument to commemorate and mark the departure of the Mayflower ship from Plymouth in 1620.

Smeaton's Tower

Smeaton's Tower

Visitor Attraction

Smeaton's Tower is a memorial to celebrated civil engineer John Smeaton, designer of the third and most notable Eddystone Lighthouse.

Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park

Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park

Park / Open Space

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is listed as Grade I on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

The National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium

Visitor Attraction

The National Marine Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the United Kingdom.

Royal William Yard

Royal William Yard

Historic Site

The Royal William Victualling Yard was the major victualling depot of the Royal Navy and an important adjunct of Devonport Dockyard.

Saltram House

Saltram House

Visitor Attraction

Refined Georgian house with a notable interior, period furnishings, porcelain and smart grounds.

Select South West Tours

Guided Walking Tour

Delivering luxurious, customisable trips For private groups.

The Box

Visitor Attraction

The Box, a state of the art museum, will open in 2020 as the flagship building for the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

Mayflower Steps

Adult tickets start at £8

Plymouth Walking Tours

Guided Walking Tour

Explore the historic city of Plymouth with the expert guides from Devon & Cornwall Tour Guides

Buckfast Abbey

Visitor Attraction

Nestled on the southern slopes of Dartmoor, in a beautiful wooded valley beside the river Dart, Buckfast Abbey offers visitors a tranquil refuge from the hectic pace of everyday life.

Crowne Plaza Plymouth

Crowne Plaza Plymouth

Hotel

Overlooking Plymouth Hoe's greenery and the coastline, the Crowne Plaza Plymouth is less than 10 minutes' walk from Plymouth city centre. Panoramic views across the Plymouth Sound bay feature in the 11th-floor dining room.

Jurys Inn Plymouth

Jurys Inn Plymouth

Hotel

In the heart of the city centre adjacent to Plymouth's historic tourist quarter and shopping centre.

New Continental Hotel

New Continental Hotel

Hotel

The New Continental Hotel’s central location makes it easy to explore Plymouth's maritime delights.

Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa

Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa

Hotel

The 5-star Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa is situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park and just five minutes from Plymouth.

Copthorne Hotel

Copthorne Hotel

Hotel

The Copthorne Hotel Plymouth offers spectacular views towards the historic Barbican and Hoe areas.

The Grosvenor Plymouth

The Grosvenor Plymouth

Bed & Breakfast

Originally built in 1879 this beautiful Victorian property has been welcoming guests since 1990.

The Duke of Cornwall Hotel

The Duke of Cornwall Hotel

Hotel

Set in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City, the Duke of Cornwall is a stunning period hotel brimming with character and style.

Premier Inn Sutton Harbour

Premier Inn Sutton Harbour

Hotel

Dream of life on the open waves with Premier Inn Hotel Plymouth City Centre (Sutton Harbour). Just minutes from Plymouth's bustling shops and buzzing nightlife you're in a great location.

Travelodge Plymouth

Travelodge Plymouth

Hotel

Travelodge Plymouth is in the heart of the city, a short walk from the breathtaking views of Plymouth Sound from Hoe Park.

1620

1620

Hotel

1620 will be a landmark redevelopment on the iconic facade of Plymouth Hoe.

St Anne's House

St Anne's House

Hotel

St Anne’s House is the perfect country retreat for your special event, party or relaxing getaway, offering you exclusive use. This wonderful Plymouth venue is within a stone’s throw of a golf course and also provides stunning sea views.

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