Mayflower 400 in Harleston


2020 marks the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America. Celebrations are taking place throughout major towns and cities across England to commemorate the occasion.  Harleston had a role in this significant chapter in world history.

There were a mere 102 passengers on board the Mayflower ship, and four of them came from Harleston. There were only 41 signatories to the the legal document, created to establish their rules of governance. This was called the ‘Compact’ and became the foundation for the American Constitution. Two of the signatories were from Harleston, Samuel and Edward Fuller. You may see references to them in street names.

Harleston have joined the international celebrations and will promote Harleston as a wonderful place to visit and live. There will be a programme of events and activities . The international celebrations begin in November this year at Thanksgiving, and run until Thanksgiving 2020.

We will provide regular updates on these activities and articles about Mayflower, the Pilgrims and their journey.

Look out for the logo to find official 'Mayflower 400 in Harleston' events and activities.  These have been approved by Harleston's Future and are part of our Harleston programme.

American singer, songwriter and artist, Jeffery Lewis, presents the Mayflower history with this wonderful song and comic book illustrations.

From the Pilgrims' reasons for leaving Europe to the treacherous journey across the Atlantic, this short video provides a quick and entertaining summary of the Mayflower.

Recent Mayflower News Stories

Next Mayflower Events


Mayflower Play: Living History Re-enactments

Ever wondered what it would have been like to live in Harleston 400 years ago? Who were the Fullers and why is there a road named after them? What would it have been like to visit The Swan Hotel when it was a coaching in on the road to L...


Food and Drink Trail

This year we will be ruiing a Food and Drink Trail instead of our annual Food and Drink Walks.  We will not let the social distancing measures spoil the day.  Pick up your entry form on the day or download form our website when available...


Food and Drink Festival

The Harleston Food and Drink Festival will return. There will be a Street Market with stalls selling an array of locally-made products, from savoury pies to mouth-watering cakes and pastries, locally-reared meat to bottled preserves and ...


Mayflower Lecture Online: Tour of Rotherhithe in London

*** FREE event ***
To restart or Mayflower 400 in Harleston Lecture programme we will take a virtual walk through Rotherhithe in London, home to the Mayflower and her crew.  It was both the starting point and ending point for the Mayflow...


Mayflower: Halloween Pumpkin Trail

We will have a new Mayflower Halloween Pumpkin Trail around town.  Can you help the Pilgrims search for discover the hidden pumpkins using pictures in shop windows around town and solve the Halloween riddle.Pick up your entry form from: ...

Mayflower History Articles

Mayflower 400 Historical Research

Historical research was carried out as part of the work to create the Mayflower play.  The project ran from January to April 2020 supported a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The Project breif was to carry out research into Harleston during the period between the accession of James I in 1603 through to the eve of the English Civil War in 1640. The researchers were tasked with finding as much information as possible about six pairs of individuals who lived or worked in the Parish of Redenhall cum Harleston during that period.

​​The research material, along with more general background facts about the social, political and political circumstances in which these individuals would have operated, were collected into Information Packs on each pair of historical figures and given to local residents of Harleston and district organising and performing in ‘living history’ re-enactments in six yards and alleyways around the town scheduled for July 2020. (However, due to the coronavirus outbreak these performances may be delayed until later in the year.) 


On a monthly basis from May 2020 a selection of the Project’s research will be published in our website which relates to Harleston, Redenhall and the surrounding parishes during the first few decades of the 17th Century. Included are transcripts of original documents, Wills and Inventories along with a wealth background information about everyday life, community infrastructure and hierarchies, religious beliefs, and local politics in this period.

To find out more about Mayflower 400 in Harleston' please send an email to

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