Pilgrim Fathers

Pilgrims At Babworth

The District of Bassetlaw has a wealth of heritage and history and the asset that Bassetlaw places significant importance on, is the origins of the Pilgrim Fathers, as it was here that the beginnings of religious Separatism can be traced. 

Three of the first four signatories to the Mayflower Compact came from Bassetlaw and the neighbouring county of South Yorkshire. This document is considered the earliest example of democracy in the United States and the forerunner of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

It was in 1607 that two of the original separatists, a Scrooby postmaster named William Brewster and a parson from Babworth called Richard Clyfton, joined dozens of other religious pilgrims to start a new life in Holland and then in 1620 the pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower to America. William Brewster played a major part in founding the new society. Retrace the footsteps of the Pilgrim Fathers by following the Mayflower Trail, a circular tour of 38-40 miles visiting the historic villages and sites of Pilgrim Fathers’ Country.

Preparing for the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Setting Sail

Signing of the Mayflower Compact in Plymouth, November 21st.  Photograph curtesy of Jane Williams, Fandango Media

In 2020 it will be 400 years since these brave pilgrims set out for America and Bassetlaw District Council is working closely with the Pilgrim Fathers Origins Association to make sure that this landmark anniversary is given the recognition it deserves. The Council has established links with Plymouth and Boston in the UK, and with Airlines, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in America, Plimouth Plantation,

In August 2014 Sue Allan, official researcher for Scrooby Manor, visited America to present a series of tours to Mayflower Descendants.  Sue was also awarded the Society of Mayflower Descendants of Pennsylvania's 2014 Scholar of the Year in recognition of her research and services to the Story of the Pilgrim Fathers. and Visit England and Experience Nottinghamshire to ensure that visitors to North Nottinghamshire are able to celebrate the Anniversary in style. 

The launch of the six year countdown to 2020 began with a major event in Plymouth on 21st November when leaders of destinations on the Mayflower Trail come together to sign The Mayflower Compact, an agreement to work collaboratively in the lead up to 2020.  Representing North Nottinghamshire was Neal Taylor, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw District Council, Ed Marshall, Chair of Scrooby Parish Council and Anthony Darbyshire, Chair of Pilgrim Fathers Origins Organisation.  Other signatories included representatives from Boston, Leiden, Harwich Gainsborough, Plymouth UK and Plymouth Mass. 

Documentary, In Search of Scrooby Manor

Accompanying Sue Allan on this trip will be Writer, Producer and Director, Jane Williams who is working on a comprehensive documentary entitled 'Pilgrim Home: In search of Scrooby Manor'.  A 'Directors Cut ' screening of the documentary contains never seen before footage of Scrooby Manor and the audiences will be invited to share in the production process.

Jane Williams can be contacted at jane@fandangomedia.co.uk and more information can be found at the Fandango Media Website.

The Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Association

The Association celebrates and brings together the heritage of the original Separatists in England and the Pilgrim Fathers who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Visit the Pilgrim Fathers Origins Association website to find out more.

Finding accommodation on the Mayflower Trail

Retford Tourist Information Centre can give advice about accommodation near to the Mayflower Trail.  Their telephone number is 01777 860780.  Experience Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, the Destination Marketing Organisation for the county also carries a minisite which provides details of hotels in the area. 

Booking a Tour of the Mayflower Trail

Sue Allan, winner of the Experience Nottinghamshire Excellence in Customer Service Award for 2014 is dedicated to providing specialised services for a wide range of customers – including people on vacation, students, families, schools, home-based education groups, church groups, and of course any of the five million known descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers.