The Mayflower

Harwich, the home of the Mayflower

The Mayflower

In September 1920, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail.

2020 is an important year to the town as it will welcome the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to the new world. 

Harwich is of course, heavily involved in a host of exciting celebrations with the other towns and cities associated with the Mayflower such as Southampton and Plymouth. Led by volunteers, the Mayflower project is to recreate the Mayflowership using traditional ship building skills. The project is dedicated to the impact made upon the different communities and cultures by the passengers and crew who undertook this magnificent journey.


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Believed to have been built in Harwich over 400 years ago, the ship was commanded and part-owned by her master Captain Christopher Jones. The Captain’s house still stands on Kings Head Street near the waterfront.

Christopher Jones, as indicated within existing records, sailed the original Mayflower to Norway, the Mediterranean and France although he had never made the transatlantic crossing before, he exported woollen cloth and imported wine. In about 1611 Christopher Jones left Harwich to move south to Rotherhithe in London just a mile downstream on the Thames from the Tower of London.

Based in the ship yard, the Harwich Mayflower project is to recreate the Mayflower ship and is led by volunteers. The project is based on using traditional ship building skills and includes a visitor centre and tours.

The 400th anniversary of the sailing from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts falls on 2020.

This momentous project honours the legacy of the passengers and crew who undertook the journey and highlights their stories and heritage which is embedded within communities across the UK, US and Netherlands.

This unique opportunity has been leveraged by the Mayflower 400 programme aligning 11 core destinations in England with wider local national and international partners and over 20 million US citizens descended from the Mayflower.

This exceptional voyage will be commemorated by a world-class series of events, public art and wider content and provide major ongoing impact across the partnership, knitting together communities, inspiring creativity and culture, driving economic growth and promoting understanding and education.

The project will champion the values of freedom, faith and personal liberty that informed the original journey and which continue to be expressed in the special relationship between the UK, US and Netherlands. It recognises the impact of the Mayflower’s journey on Native American communities and address themes of colonialism and migration, providing a precise and inclusive account of its legacy.

Together, we will draw inspiration from our past to steer our future – from now, to 2020, and for generations to come.

Discover the historic town of Harwich