Home of The Mayflower

In September 1620, 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.

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400th Anniversary Countdown

The Mayflower is believed to have been built in Harwich sometime before 1600, and was commanded and part-owned by her Master, Captain Christopher Jones, whose house still stands on Kings Head Street near the Waterfront.

Existing records show that Jones sailed the original Mayflower to Norway, the Mediterranean and France, exporting woollen cloth and importing wine – although he had never made the transatlantic crossing before. In about 1611, Jones decided to leaver Harwich, and move south to Rotherhithe in London, a mile downstream on the Thames from the Tower of London.

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

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

This is a unique opportunity to commemorate the legacy of the passengers and crew who undertook the journey and to highlight their stories and heritage, which is embedded in communities across the UK, US and Netherlands.

The Mayflower 400 programme has been created to leverage this opportunity, aligning 11 core destinations in England with wider local, national and international partners and over 20 million US citizens descended from the Mayflower.

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

Mayflower 400 will champion the values of freedom, faith and personal liberty that informed the original journey, and which continue to be articulated in the special relationship between the UK, US and Netherlands. At the same time, the commemoration will recognise the impact of the Mayflower’s journey on Native American communities and address themes of colonialism and migration, providing an accurate, inclusive account of the Mayflower’s legacy.

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

Learn more about The Mayflower

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