Mayflower 400 in Dartmouth

Mayflower 400 Dartmouth Commemoration

August 1620 saw the Pilgrim, in their two ships, The Mayflower and The Speedwell depart from Bayards Cove here in Dartmouth for the New World America. Unfortunately, the Speedwell started sinking 300 miles off Lands End and they all returned to Plymouth. The Mayflower continued the journey alone to America and created history.

In the lead up to and during the 2020 commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower on 16 September 1620, the town of Dartmouth launched a number of special projects and unique events. Details of some of these can be found below. For more details on the commemoration, how you can get involved and how you can sponsor and support this unique event can be found by visiting

If you are interested in finding out more about the history of The Mayflower and Dartmouth’s part in its story click here.

Mayflower river parade

The Mayflower River Parade took place on Saturday 28th August 2021, as part of the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta. The aim of this event was to bring together as many boats as practicable to create a magnificent spectacle commemorating the historic Mayflower’s 400th anniversary. The Parade included some of the beautiful yachts who have previously enjoyed their visits to the river for the Classics Regattas or who have taken part in previous Regatta parades. 

Peal Of Bells

A set of “Devon-style” call changes was composed to commemorate the Mayflower 400 events. These peals can be rung on 6, 8, 10 or 12 bells and will take just over one hour each to ring.

Sculpture: Pilgrim

Unveiled on the South Embankment the sculpture, called Pilgrim, was a collaborative project between artist Mark Gregory and Dartmouth Academy. Mark created a sculpture of a figure representing a Pilgrim, crafting the framework out of galvanised steel. Mark and Nicola Perrott led workshops at the Academy, when students created images inspired by the Mayflower story and transferred them onto copper panels, using the repoussé method. These have been attached to the framework to create various areas of the sculpture.

Dartmouth Mayflower Trail

Dartmouth’s Mayflower Trails tell the local story of the Mayflower and the towns relationship with the wider voyage. The Trail consist of three sections: 1 A Town Trail that takes visitors around the historic streets and points of interest. 2 A Walking Trail links Townstal – the original settlement – with the port. 3 The Castle Trail take visitors from Bayards Cove to Dartmouth Castle. All three Trail elements link up to crate the Mayflower Heritage Trail.

Mayflower Scale Model

A 10 foot replica model of the Mayflower is being built by Noss Marine Academy Students. It will be on permanent display in Dartmouth. The model will be open on one side lengthways to expose the interior contents and activities, also allowing opportunity for Augmented Virtual Reality experiences.

Safe Haven Musical Play

Safe Haven Scenes from the Mayflower painted by narration, song and instrumentals. An original theatrical piece with narration and songs embracing and incorporating scenes from the Mayflower story.

Mayflower Anthem

The Dartmouth Mayflower Anthem will establish a powerful and lasting commemoration of this momentous event. The composers have engaged the services of leading Portuguese tenor, Leonel Pinheiro, and the first DVD recording has been made.

Mayflower Pennants

The whole town will be dressed with pennants, thousands of pennants will be hanging from railings, on the ferries and the bandstand as part of the 2020 commemoration. Pennants have been crafted by individuals and local groups both in Dartmouth but also nationally and even from Dartmouth, USA.

Illustrated Book of Children’s Mayflower Stories

Stories of the Mayflower is a collaborative project between 4 primary schools in Dartmouth and the surrounding area. It involved around 70 children in years 5 and 6. Each class has written and illustrated a different section of the Mayflower journey – background history, escape to and life in Leiden, Holland to Dartmouth on the Speedwell, life in Dartmouth, Dartmouth to America, settling in to new colony, one year later – Thanksgiving.

Educational Mayflower Film Project

This exciting and creative project involves young film makers in the region. The idea at the heart of the project is to produce four short (10min.) films, each inspired by an aspect of the Mayflower story. The first phase of this project has now been completed, and the students have created two very different films – a documentary and a drama. Phase two of the project has unfortunately been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic