The 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from the UK to the New World takes place this year 2020. The Mayflower and her sister ship, The Speedwell, set sail from West Quay on 15 August 1620, carrying 102 passengers. Around 40 of these were the Puritan Separatists who have become known as America’s Founding Fathers. Documents that they created on board the ship went on to provide the foundations of the American constitution.
The Mayflower was an important world changing event which has had both positive and negative impact. The anniversary provides a moment to reflect upon this history and creates a platform to help us explore and shape a present and future informed by lessons of the past.
Mayflower 400 is an opportunity to celebrate Southampton, a city and a community, built on journeys and migration. An opportunity to tell our city’s story in all its richness. We will celebrate all the people of the world who have made Southampton their home and those have found sanctuary here. Southampton will be the first city to approach a Mayflower anniversary through the lens of migration.
Partners across Southampton will deliver an innovative and inclusive programme that uses the anniversary as a means to creatively explore the City’s wider and longer history as a marine city and gateway to the world. It will invite us to look at who we were, who we are, how our city has grown and to re-think our cultural and maritime future.
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You can also contact us here Mayflower400@southampton.gov.uk
For more information on the National Programme click here >
Read our blogs
- What is Mayflower 400?
The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Southampton City Council have come together to bring a new grant scheme to the city, enabling local organisations to deliver activities as part of the Mayflower 400 anniversary commemoration. Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 are being offered to help with projects that are connected to Southampton’s heritage and Mayflower 400. Local community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations working for the benefit of Southampton residents may apply.
Southampton residents are encouraged to explore their heritage, as well as the heritage of their community and the City. This could be anything from a quilt that tells the story of your community’s journey to Southampton, a digital project collecting memories of your community, holding an online exhibition about the history of your faith building and its congregation, or running talks and events about heritage that is important to you. Find out more here.
Thanks to investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, GO! Southampton, Paris Smith and the Barker-Mill Foundation, matched by funding from Southampton City Council we were recently able to announce a year-long programme of exciting arts, heritage, educational and community projects However, we are now facing difficult and challenging times, and this means adapting our programme accordingly.
In the coming weeks we will be putting new plans in to place to ensure that when it is safe to do so, we can still deliver a Mayflower 400 programme, which will reconnect communities to our maritime past, tell stories of journeys, migration, identity and sanctuary, bring communities together in a celebration of their unique city.
You can see our original planned programme here, please note some dates will be subject to change. We will revise this programme as soon as we are able.
Thank you for your understanding.
Important note: Dates are subject to change and projects may be cancelled due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please do not attempt to attend any event without checking with the host venue first. Information will be updated as soon new plans can be confirmed.
5 - 6 March: Southampton Music Hub (A wonderful evening!)- A Musical Odyssey
20 March: 6pm - 8pm: Solent Showcase Gallery - Tools to Empower: New Creative Approaches in Researching Refugees and Migration (Postponed)
28 March –18 April: John Hansard Gallery - Community Takeover: City of Sanctuary (Temporary closure in place, check with venue)
Now until 21 March: Solent Showcase Gallery - Narratives of Displacement Now until 5 July: Part of Southampton Stories at Sea City Museum - Commemorations (Temporary closure likely, check with venue)
16 -18 April: Holyrood, Redbridge and Weston Shore estates, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre - Ride (Postponed)
16 April –13 June: Solent Showcase Gallery - Displaced: Salon of Disability (Temporary closure likely, check with venue)
April – August: Winchester College - Exhibition of Early American books
2 May –11 July: John Hansard Gallery - Mariner: A Painted Ship Upon a Painted Ocean and Adam Barker-Mill: Horizon (Temporary closure likely, check with venue)
16 May: Westquay, Launch of The Hampshire Paper - Southampton and the Mayflower (Likely postponed)
23 May: 1.30pm – 3.30pm: Peartree Church - Tea & Sea. (Postponed)
25 - 27 May: 7.30 pm, Peartree Church - The Sad Tale of Richard Parker (Postponed)
Various dates May - September: SS Shieldhall - In the Footsteps of the Mayflower
13 – 21 June: Westquay on the Esplanade, The Empathy Museum - A Mile in My Shoes (Postponed)
13 - 22 June: To coincide with Refugee Week Talk series (Details TBC) (Postponed)
18 - 22 June: Visit from Wampanoag Scholar (Likely postponed)
20 June onwards: Tudor House and Garden - A Thriving Port: Southampton at the time of the Mayflower
26-27 June: NS Theatres - NOW-HERE: Journeys to My Hometown
27th June: SAS Study Day - Southampton and Hampshire in the Time of the Mayflower
30 June: NS Theatres - The Children are Revolting
1 July: NS Theatres - Showcase event
4 July: St Andrews Church - Conchord Singers - Community Choirs
4 July: 10am – 4pm: Peartree Church - The Religious Landscape of Peartree Green from the 16th – 19th Centuries
5 July: Southampton Council of Faiths - Annual Peace Walk
11 July – 23 August: Part of Southampton Stories at SeaCity Museum - Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America
11 July: Hoglands Park, Art Asia featuring new Mayflower 400 commission Belonging, Southampton Mela
18 July – 3 October: Southampton City Art Gallery - In Search of a New World, Open Exhibition
1 – 12 August: God’s House Tower Programme including: In the footsteps of the Founding Fathers walking tour, A funny thing happened on the way to the New World, Navigating a New World print exchange and Talking Through History talks, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th August.
7 - 8 August: NS Theatres - The Crucible
14-16 August: Anniversary Weekend; including monument reveal, new musicals, commemoration event, parade of sail, Mayflower Steam Train, and visit from Wampanoag tribespeople.
14 - 15 August: Mayflower Theatre - Compass, Hourglass and Drift
15 August: Mayflower Monument, Southampton Heritage Federation - Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Sailing of the Mayflower
22 August: Guildhall Square, Unity 101 Radio - Hands of Love 4 –The Journey
11 – 12 and 17 – 18 September: St Michaels Square, The Place - Future Cargo
13 - 20 September: Various Locations, Heritage Open Days
13 - 20 September: To coincide with Heritage Open Days - Talk series (Details TBC)
26 September –17 October: John Hansard Gallery - Community Takeover: Environment and Sustainability
9 -11 October: Various Locations - Winchester Poetry Festival
23 October 2020 – 30 January 2021: Southampton City Art Gallery - Shadows and Light
October 2020 – January 2021: Solent Showcase Gallery - Manifesting the Unseen
31 October –16 December: John Hansard Gallery - Seaside: Photographed
November: Southampton Film Week
21 – 22 November: Turner Sims - New music commission
26 - 28 November: Audacious CIC, Guildhall Square - KRYT, Weston Shore - Towers of Light
28 November: Mayflower Theatre, Welsh National Opera – Migrations
Solent Showcase Gallery - Community Workshop programme.
City Eye - Oral Histories programme.
Turner Sims - A Year of Journeys Programme.
St Michael’s Church - 950th Anniversary Programme.
See Southampton, Mayflower Heritage Guides and Southampton Tourist Guides Association all offer guided walking tours of the city, offering insight into the locations important to the Mayflower story.