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. We will work to ensure Southampton continues to be a welcoming city.
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.
An exciting fusion of ideas, people, art, history, science, technology, food, faith and cultures.
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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?
In Search of a New World - Open Exhibition
Southampton City Art Gallery
18 July – 3 October 2020
All residents of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Dorset are invited to create artwork for the Southampton City Art Gallery’s biennial ‘open exhibition’.
The exhibition is part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations and to mark Southampton’s role in this momentous event, and artists are invited to respond to the themes of journey, migration and the sea – all subjects that have helped to build Southampton and put the City at the forefront of many national and world changing moments. Responses can touch on any one of the themes and entrants are encouraged to consider them as creatively and widely as possible.
The judges will consider both 2-D and 3-D work in any medium, within specific size restrictions. The judges encourage artists to consider the themes as creatively as possible.
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing from Southampton bound for the New World. The journey was a key event in the shaping of world history – with both negative and positive impacts. A group of Puritan Separatists, who have become known as the Pilgrim Fathers, were amongst the 102 passengers on board. A compact that they drew-up upon that ship is often cited as the foundation of American democracy.
The successful artists will have their work exhibited at Southampton City Art Gallery from 18 July – 3 October 2020.
Further details on how to apply >
Mayflower Theatre Audition Opportunity
In 2020 as part of the 400 year commemorations of the Mayflower ship leaving Southampton for the New World, the Mayflower Theatre has commissioned two new musicals and a dance production to be performed on the Mayflower Theatre stage in August 2020 and this is your opportunity to audition.
Drift - dancers aged 14 and over.
Compass - young performers aged between 12 and 18 for our Summer Youth Production
Hourglass - people aged 12 and over to sing and act.
Find out more here >
The Southampton Gateway Embroideries
The Mayflower Folk Embroidery Group have been creating some amazing stories for a new community arts exhibition ‘The Southampton Gateway Embroideries’ which can be seen until the 30th January in the Central Library.
The project has focused on the idea of the 'journey' as a way to collect migrant stories, folk stories and responses to the Mayflower story. These have been blended through folk art forms and folk story forms to produce celebrations of the unique connection Southampton has to the Mayflower.
Mayflower 400 - Self Guided App
The Mayflower Self-Guided Tours app is an innovative and informative free app that provides users with easy to follow self-guided tours of the UK towns, cities and villages connected to the Mayflower.
The app makes use of GPS to notify users of nearby places of interest, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of the Mayflower Passengers and explore all the stops on the Mayflower trail at their own pace, learning about the history of their journey through England and Holland and their final voyage on the Mayflower.
Grab your phone, download the app and explore Southampton’s Mayflower story for yourself.
5 March - 6 March 2020: A Musical Odyssey at The Mayflower Theatre >
Various from May 2020 onwards: SS Shieldhall Cruises - In The Footsteps of The Mayflower >
5,12,19,26 June and 3 July 2020 (performances on 4 July): Come and Sing with Conchord Singers workshops and performances >
20 June- 31 Dec 2020: Southampton's Mayflower Story at Tudor House & Garden >
11 July - 23 Aug 2020: Wampum: stories from the shells of native America at SeaCity Museum >
18 July - 3 Oct 2020: In Search of a New World – Open Exhibition 2020 at Southampton City Art Gallery >
11 - 20 Sept 2020: Heritage Open Days in Southampton >
23 Oct 2020 - 30 Jan 2021: Shadow and Light exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery >