New history guide and gazetteer of local Pilgrims’ heritage sites

Pilgrim Routes: A Historical Guide

The traces left by the people known as the Pilgrims in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire are fleeting but often intriguing.

Many people have heard of the Mayflower and her voyage four hundred years ago, but fewer know about the places they came from and travelled through on their many journeys before they ever set foot upon that ship.

A new book produced as part of West Lindsey District Council’s Mayflower 400 programme for the 2020 anniversary, with funding from Arts Council England, is now available to buy.

It explores many of the places connected to the Pilgrims’ story in the Midlands, alongside a short history of their lives from England through to Holland and then on to America in 1620.

Continue reading “New history guide and gazetteer of local Pilgrims’ heritage sites”

Celebrate a spectacular Christmas at Marshalls Yard, Gainsborough

Charlotte Toplass with the Marshalls Yard Stag

Lights, tinsel, Santa – Action! Come along to Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough to kick off your Christmas in style.

Open every day until Christmas Eve, Marshall’s Yard is glistening with Christmas lights and the majestic stag is back again taking pride of place at the centre.

No Christmas would be complete without brass bands, German sausages, and visits from Santa – of course they’re all at Marshalls Yard this year.

Continue reading “Celebrate a spectacular Christmas at Marshalls Yard, Gainsborough”

Illuminate a huge success!

Illuminate 2021 – A vibrant spectacle of fire and light drew thousands of people to Gainsborough this weekend

Smiles lit up the faces of people of all ages as they soaked up the atmosphere of this year’s illuminate event to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower story.

Fire dancers and musicians welcomed visitors as they strolled through the grounds of All Saints Parish Church, taking in all the colourful elements of the first fire garden display to take place in the town centre.

Those attending could then walk among the Illuminated performers towards Gainsborough Old Hall, where projections of a wonderful film, produced by local production company Electric Egg with the help of Dr Anna Scott, telling the story of the Mayflower, was beamed onto the outside of the historic manor house.

Continue reading “Illuminate a huge success!”

Excitement grows with Illuminate 2021 now under two weeks away

Projections that will be on the walls of Gainsborough Old Hall

Residents and visitors to Gainsborough are invited Illuminate Gainsborough 2021 in just under two weeks’ time, with planning now well under way behind-the-scenes.

Illuminate 2021 is the final spectacular event to commemorate Gainsborough’s links to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims story – and will include a fire garden, projections, performers, live music and an arts trail around the town.

The free event takes place on Saturday 13 November from 6pm to 8.30pm in the grounds of Gainsborough Old Hall and All Saints’ Parish Church.

Gainsborough Choral Society will also be performing David Fawcett’s new choral work “A Sure Refuge” at a concert in the Parish Church from 7.30-8.30pm. Free tickets for the concert can be pre-booked online via Eventbrite at or picked up from Gainsborough Library or Bassetlaw Museum in Retford.

Continue reading “Excitement grows with Illuminate 2021 now under two weeks away”

Illuminate event to light up Gainsborough this November!

Gainsborough Illuminate 2019

Residents of and visitors to West Lindsey are invited to attend the final Illuminate event in Gainsborough to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower story this autumn.

A special Illuminate event involving lanterns, performers, music, projections, an arts trail and a spectacular fire garden will bring to an end the commemorations in the town, 400 years after the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in America.

Last year’s event went online due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but this November the 400th anniversary event brings people back together to look back on the story of the Separatists’ journey to America in 1620. Many leading Separatists on the Mayflower, who later became known as the Pilgrims, came from the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire region.

Continue reading “Illuminate event to light up Gainsborough this November!”

World famous festival, The Big Draw, comes to Gainsborough!

The Big Draw 2021 in Gainsborough: Saturday 25th September, Gainsborough Old Hall

Families are invited to try their hand at the world’s largest drawing festival this September, at an art workshop organised as part of Gainsborough’s Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The “Big Draw” will be taking place at Gainsborough Old Hall on 25th September, with visitors invited to test their sketching and clay tile skills in the gardens of the medieval manor house throughout the day.

Garden guides and a ceramic artist will be on-hand to help anyone at any experience level – throughout the day the artist will even choose tiles to create a panel which will be displayed at Gainsborough Old Hall following the event!

Continue reading “World famous festival, The Big Draw, comes to Gainsborough!”

Heritage Open Days

10 to 19 September 2021

Your chance to discover some of Lincolnshire’s rarely seen historic treasures, with exciting experiences that bring local history and culture to life, for FREE!

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors FREE access to interesting properties that are not usually publicly accessible or would normally charge a fee. It also includes tours, events and activities that focus on and celebrate the local heritage of the area.

The festival will run from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th September 2021 giving everyone a whole ten days to visit the special places taking part, including Gainsborough’s Heritage Centre and The Old Nick police museum.

Click here to download a copy of the Heritage Open Days Brochure:


Food and Drink Festival, Summer 2021, a Great Success!

The Gainsborough Food and Drink festival returned on 31 July to 1 August, with hundreds of locals turning out to enjoy over 30 food and drink stalls, a live cookery demo kitchen and children’s activities.

Various cuisines from around the world were served up to visitors from market stalls on Market Street and in Market Place, plus children enjoyed a kid’s craft den and fairground rides.

Celebrity Chef Jean Christoph Novelli headlined the demo kitchen, cooking up a storm in a bespoke apron designed by competition winner Vicky Jacobs. Chef Colin Robson-Wright from The Hickman Hill Hotel also showcased his cookery skills at the demo kitchen for festivalgoers to enjoy.

Chairman of the Council, Cllr Steve England attended on Sunday 1st August along with the team from the event sponsor, Paul Fox Estate Agents to present competition winner Vicky Jacobs with her prize.

Cllr England said: “It was fantastic to be out-and-about exploring all of the stalls and entertainment on display in Gainsborough over the weekend – along with so many other locals and visitors.

“It is no secret that markets and events like the Food and Drink Festival are always fun and popular events in West Lindsey, and the more we can support and help these events thrive, by attending what is on our doorstep, the better!”

Across the weekend there was also live entertainment from local buskers Emily Toward and George Holmes, plus a magical performance from Elsa at Marshalls Yard which proved a hit with youngsters.

The Gainsborough Food and Drink festival is organised in partnership with West Lindsey District Council, Gainsborough Town Council, Marshall’s Yard and RR Events. This year’s event is sponsored by Paul Fox Estate Agents who recently opened their new office at Marshalls Yard.

Gainsborough Food and Drink Festival, Summer 2021

A jam-packed weekend of foodie fun is set to come to Gainsborough this weekend on Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August, with over 30 food and drink stalls, a live cookery demo kitchen and children’s activities.

Food and drink stalls will be serving hot and cold food and beverages, with a range of cuisines from around the world including Greek, Spanish, Indian and Chinese plus sweet treats, bespoke crafts and a licensed bar

Live cookery demonstrations from top Gainsborough food outlets including The Forge, Cream and Hickman Hill Hotel will be taking place across the weekend, using the finest fresh produce from Gainsborough’s very own butcher and delicatessen, the Meat Storr.

Celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli will headline the demo kitchen on Sunday 1st August at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. He will be wearing a bespoke apron designed by competition winner Vicky Jacobs aged 28 from Gainsborough.

There will be plenty of fun to be had for youngsters at the kids’ corner, complete with giant games, a book corner and craft activities.

Local buskers Emily Toward and George Holmes will be entertaining festival goers with live music across the weekend.

The Gainsborough Food and Drink Festival takes place on Saturday 31st July 10am-6pm and Sunday 1st August 10am-5pm on Market Street and Market Place.