'"As ONE small candle may
light a THOUSAND..."

The PILGRIM ROOTS Project

The Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project is led by Bassetlaw District Council and working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and West Lindsey District Council. Other significant contributions to the project come from Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and the University of Lincoln and will be key during delivery.

Bassetlaw District Council received confirmation that it was successful in its bid to Heritage Lottery in September 2018. As a result, the project is now up and running and will continue to run until September 2021.

It was the culmination of four years of hard work including research, analysis, preparation and consultation. This led to the Pilgrim Roots ambition to deliver a transformational project that is truly a once in a century opportunity. Because of this support, we are able to commemorate a historic and shared heritage.

Trail, education, activities

The project connects Retford and Gainsborough with the associated villages in a regional Pilgrims Trail. The trail features the Pilgrims’ heritage sites such as Austerfield and Scrooby. Importantly, Bassetlaw Museum, in Retford, is the central focus for the physical trail providing a new Pilgrims Gallery. In addition to the new gallery, digital resources will bring the pilgrims trail to life and, in turn, support learning opportunities and provide far-reaching engagement. The added focus is for community groups and volunteers to help engage in attracting local, national and international visitors.”

Overall, the Project will transform the knowledge and awareness of the local origins of the Pilgrims and Separatists story. It places North Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire as a major destination from which inspirational people took the heroic step to flee persecution. It follows them as they travel halfway across the known world to establish a colony in harsh conditions and how they survived the initial years. The Pilgrims went on to establish principles for the foundation of freedom and modern democracy.

This Heritage Lottery project is the cornerstone for a wide suite of activities being undertaken which showcases the area and complements the national Mayflower 400 partnership activities. The aim of all this is to ensure that there is a resilient legacy of our heritage to leave to our children. Vitally, our themes of Freedom, Tolerance and Migration have as much resonance in the world today, 400 years after the Pilgrims’ journey.
The Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project has five critical elements which will be key in the delivery of the pilgrim roots plan. They were developed through consultation and during the development phase. Together, they will help deliver positive outcomes for the heritage, people and communities.

1. PILGRIMS GALLERY at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford

1. PILGRIMS GALLERY at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford

2. Establishment of a PILGRIMS TRAIL across the three counties

2. Establishment of a PILGRIMS TRAIL across the three counties

3. Provision of web-based content, information & learning resources

3. Provision of web-based content, information & learning resources

4. A comprehensive activity programme

4. A comprehensive activity programme

5. The Heritage Engagement Officer and Project Support Officer Roles

5. The Heritage Engagement Officer and Project Support Officer Roles