Boston's Pilgrim Fathers

24 July 2019

One night in the autumn of 1607, a determined group of men, women and children secretly met a boat on the edge of 'The Wash' at Scotia Creek, Fishtoft, near Boston.

They planned to defy the authority of the English church and escape across the North Sea to Holland to live in religious freedom.

The group were betrayed and stripped of their belongings and hope, they were brought by boat to Boston and held and tried at the Guildhall, home to the local law court and cells.

Today you can experience what life was like for the Pilgrim Fathers at Boston Guildhall and see the cells where they were held.

The impressive Boston Guildhall

Explore this wonderfully preserved building, with a wealth of original features, and discover the stories and secrets belonging to the area's rich past.

A short five-minute walk from the Guild Hall you'll find St. Botolph's Church, another key landmark in the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers.

The Reverend John Cotton, considered as one of the most important Pilgrim Fathers in America, was the Vicar of St. Botolph's Church for many years. The pulpit from which he preached his sermons is the one that is still used in St Botolph's today.

However, he made many enemies by preaching his non-conformist views and regularly found himself prosecuted at Lincoln's Law Courts.

Fed up with constant persecution, in 1633 he sailed across the Atlantic to the New World and settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where there was already a large contingent of settlers from Lincolnshire.

Reverend John Cotton soon became spiritual leader of this church-dominated state. His influence increased further when he helped to draft the fundamental laws for the colony that are still applicable today.

The outside of St Botolphs Church, Boston

Step back in time and explore St. Botolph's Church, also known as the 'Boston Stump', for yourself.

Climb the 209 steps and see the panoramic views of Lincolnshire, then head back down and treat yourself to a drink and a slice of homemade cake in the Coffee Shop.
Take time out for reflection in the sacred space or join the kids in the Treasure Trail and Play Den.

Please note: due to the reordering and restoration work being undertaken through a National Lottery Heritage Funded project, A Passion for People, the tower is currently closed until further notice.

Further outside of town you'll find the Pilgrim Memorial marking the point at Scotia Creek from where they made their attempt to escape.

Pilgrim Father Memorial

The memorial is only accessible by foot or bike however you can get a taxi part of the way. The walk from Boston Town Centre will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes and part of the route is along small country roads that don't have a footpath. We advise you research the route in full before beginning your journey.

Boston is located a couple of hours from London by rail. Take an LNER train from London Kings Cross Station to Grantham. From here you will pick up part of the picturesque Poacher Line that will take you direct to Boston Railway Station.

Book rail tickets here...

Extend your stay & book accommodation in Boston here...

Explore more of what Boston has to offer here...

More from our blog

Subscribe to our blog posts. We are planning to post about once a month. We will never share your details and you can unsubscribe with a single click.