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    Discover our Pilgrim Roots

Pilgrim Roots

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts.

Gainsborough has a special connection to the Mayflower anniversary as separatist movements originated in this region that led them on their journey to America.

A group of Separatists were thought to have worshiped in secret at Gainsborough Old Hall – now regarded as one of the best preserved medieval manor houses in Britain – with the permission of its sympathetic owner, merchant William Hickman. Their preacher, John Smyth, was a strong influence on the Mayflower Pilgrims, and is generally considered to have later been a founder of the Baptist churches.

Pilgrim Roots links together Pilgrims’ heritage sites and history across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire allowing visitors to discover the rich heritage of the region. To find out what’s happening in the region go to www.pilgrimroots.co.uk.

Take a look the Mayflower 400 video below that tells you about the locations in the Pilgrim Roots Region.

Discover Gainsborough by TrainLearn more about the history below or for more information about the Mayflower400 project please visit their website. You can also download the Mayflower 400 app where you can enjoy free, self-guided walks and driving tours of each of the villages, towns and cities connected to the Mayflower.

In Gainsborough, you’ll discover a wealth of heritage and things to do. Explore the town’s fascinating heritage, discover arts and culture or find a great shopping experience including the award winning Marshall’s Yard.

Go to our Visit page to find out more.


25 October 2019  Illuminate Lantern Workshop – more details

26 October 2019  Illuminate Lantern Workshop – more details

9 November 2019  Illuminate Lantern Workshop – more details 

16 November 2019  Illuminate, Gainsborough – more details

26 November 2019  The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 Celebration Performance – more details

For more events across the Pilgrim Roots region go to their website.

Latest News

24 September 2019  Artist Workshops come to Gainsborough

29 August 2019  Mayflower Pilgrim events receive £100,000 Arts Council Funding

25 June 2019  Leading Separatists in the Pilgrim Roots Region

18 June 2019  Pilgrim Trails Newsletter June 2019

21 May 2019  Opening of the new Mayflower Room in Gainsborough with special dance performances

Mayflower 400