Archives of News


For “they knew they were pilgrims”: preparing for a voyage Once the Separatists in Holland started to conclude they wanted to move on again from the homes they had established in Leiden, there was much work to be done. They had lengthy discussions about where they should go. Some suggested Guiana while others preferred Virginia, […]


Religious riots, wars and rebellion in a turbulent Europe The Pilgrims’ lives in Leiden began to become increasingly difficult and uncertain in the years running up to 1620. They had been accepted in the city, but there were other factions who they didn’t always agree with. Bradford recalled the religious arguments that rumbled on, which […]

Covid-19 Pilgrims Trail Visiting Updates

Update 5.January.2021: Under current lockdown measures, the Pilgrims Trail sites are closed. It is possible to visit the sites and read external interpretation as part of daily exercise; please do continue to engage with us online. When it is possible to re-open our sites, we anticipate the measures outlined below being in place for some […]


To play the King: the Pilgrims continue to provoke James I Even though the Pilgrims were now living in Holland, they were still at odds with the English authorities and the King, James I. Leading Pilgrim and Elder William Brewster had set up a printing press with the financial support of another of their group, […]


Life in Leiden Many of the Separatists from the Gainsborough area and other places in England had escaped to Holland in 1608, and after a year in Amsterdam, they moved – under the leadership of Rev John Robinson – to the neighbouring city of Leiden. Bradford, Separatist Pilgrim and later diarist of their lives and […]


Arriving in Amsterdam Eventually, the Pilgrims all made their way to Holland after managing to escape from England in the summer of 1608. Their journeys so far had, according to their chronicler William Bradford, captured the popular imagination: “For by these so public troubles, in so many eminent places, their cause became famous.” Bradford recalled […]


A partial escape and an enforced separation We pick up the story from last week during high drama near Immingham, as the Pilgrim families are separated in their attempts to escape from England for Holland. While the women and children are stranded in boats near the shore, many of the men – their husbands and […]

Escape #2

From Gainsborough to Immingham to Holland After a failed first attempt to escape England from Boston on the south Lincolnshire coast, the Pilgrims needed to think again about their plans. They were still resolved to go, and so needed to come up with an alternative route. We pick up the story in Pilgrim William Bradford’s diary: “The next […]


The Separatists are held in Boston After making their way to the Lincolnshire coast near Boston, the Pilgrims were hoping to escape from England for new lives in Holland. But their secret escape plan was thwarted after they were betrayed by the master of the ship who had agreed to take them to Holland. Their ordeal in Boston […]

New Pilgrim Beer

In honour of the quadricentennial anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims setting sail in search of religious freedom one North Nottinghamshire brewery has released a special beer. The Pheasantry Brewery is a family run business with connections to Babworth, where Richard Clifton preached to William Brewster and a young William Bradford. This family have celebrated life’s […]