Flight of the Separatists

Saturday 17 July 2021 at Gainsborough Old Hall, Parnell Street, Gainsborough, DN21 2NB

Families enjoyed a sun-soaked day of festivities at Gainsborough Old Hall on Saturday 17 July – as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower story was officially marked in the town.

Having been postponed last year as a result of the pandemic, the event – “Flight of the Separatists,” marked 400-years of the story of the Pilgrims’ escape from England in search of religious freedom via Gainsborough.

The event – the first in the recently re-opened Gainsborough Old Hall – included performances from theatre group Rhubarb Theatre, as well as activities such as felt hat making, pottery making and rope making, on what was a beautifully blue-skied occasion.

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In May 1608, some of the Pilgrim Separatists fled from the town on a barge up the River Trent in search of religious freedom. Others made their way overland to an isolated place along the coast near Immingham. There, they met a Dutch ship in order to flee the country. Many of the men escaped, while their wives and children were left behind for a time, after their attempt to escape was noticed by the authorities. Eventually, they were all reunited in Amsterdam.

The story of their escape from Gainsborough isn’t well known – find out more from the PilgrimAGE blog  which tells the stories of the Pilgrims’ journeys from England to Holland and then on to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

This event was made possible as part of Gainsborough’s Mayflower 400 programme with thanks to funding from West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Gainsborough Town Council, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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This event has been made possible with thanks for funding from Arts Council England.

Supported by Arts Council England