The Mayflower Memorial is also known as the Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial. It was built in 1913 to commemorate the departure of ‘the little company of Pilgrim Fathers who were destined to be the founders of the New England States of America’ on 15 August 1620. Their transatlantic voyage began in Southampton in two ships – the Mayflower and the Speedwell – near the spot where the memorial was built.
Built of Portland stone and about 50 foot tall, the memorial has eight plaques dedicated to the memory of pilgrims, passengers and crew, including the Hopkins family, Edward Doty and John Alden, who were all from the local area.
The bronze ship that sits atop the memorial is often thought to be a weather vane, it is in fact in a fixed position pointing in the direction the ships would have set off for the New World.