Chances are you know the history behind the Mayflower ship; that it sailed from Plymouth, England with 102 passengers in 1620 and landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts (after a brief stop in Provincetown) where the Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony. While nobody really knows exactly what happened to the original Mayflower (the last record of the ship is from 1624), you can find a stunning replica of the famous ship in Plymouth Harbor.
The Mayflower II is a square-rigged vessel, 106 feet long and 25 feet wide docked at the State Pier in Plymouth. It was built between 1955 and 1957 at the Upham Shipyard in the town of Brixham in Devon, England.
Mayflower II was the brainchild of Englishman Warwick Charlton, who wanted to honor the deep connection between England and America. Some say Charlton even conceived this idea to thank America for its help in World War II. According to the New York Times, Charlton discovered that Plimoth Plantation was planning to build a replica of the Mayflower as well, and he reached out to the organization to collaborate on the project.
The ship sailed from England in 1957 with lots of fanfare from the city, as “the Mayflower has always meant a great deal to Plymouth.” Plymouth, England commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims and their voyage with the “Mayflower Steps” monument on the Plymouth Barbican.
Being a traditional 17th century ship, the Mayflower does need regular upkeep, and it’s setting sail this weekend for Mystic Seaport, where it will receive some much-needed repairs. Don’t worry- it will return to Plymouth by summer 2015!