On 15 August 1620 the Mayflower and her sister ship, The Speedwell, set sail from West Quay to the New World. Carrying 102 passengers, around 40 of which were the Puritan Separatists, who have become known as America’s Founding Fathers. It was an important world-changing journey, with both positive and negative impacts, and Southampton played a central role in the story. You can read more about the two sides of the story here and here.
To mark the 400th anniversary in 2020 partners across Southampton have come together to deliver a creative programme that uses the anniversary to explore this and other stories from the City’s history as ‘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.
Mayflower 400 provides 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 explore our relationship with the sea, a relationship which has put us at the forefront of many national and world changing moments. It is an opportunity to engage communities, develop audiences and attract tourists as well as prove ourselves as a serious contender for City of Culture.
Mayflower 400 is an international partnership of thirteen communities who have worked together on the anniversary since 2014. The mission is to inspire a lasting legacy of kinship and transformational change within our communities which is founded on our shared values and history. Destinations include: