The Pilgrim Roots Project tells the story of Nottinghamshire’s hidden histories

Historic sites in two different counties will open specially on Saturday 19e November to officially launch the Pilgrim Trail, which celebrates the extraordinary courage and determination of those who sailed the Mayflower in 1620.

As part of the Pilgrim Roots project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, interpretive panels telling the story of the pilgrims are now in place across the region at Babworth, Scrooby, Retford and Sturton-le -Steeple in North Nottinghamshire, Austerfield in South Yorkshire and Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.

Events will take place at churches along the Pilgrim Trail, including talks by local experts, a chance to meet the embroiderer pilgrims and the Babworth Arts Festival.

The locations, events and times for this are:

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All Saints Church, Babworth – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

10-10 a.m., Saturday, November 19, official opening of the arts festival and launch of the Pilgrim Trail by Cllr Madelaine Richardson, Bassetlaw District Council President.

Babworth Arts Festival:

  • saturday 19e November – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • sunday 20e November – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday 19e November at 11am – free talk by author and local historian, Adrian Gray, titled ‘Nottinghamshire’s Rebellious Women’

Guided tours of the church

Meet a Pilgrim Embroiderer

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Sturton the Bell Tower – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Guided tours of the church

St. Wilfrid’s Church, Scrooby – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Demonstration of medieval and Tudor religious icons by artist Garry Ashton

Meet a Pilgrim Embroiderer

Guided tours of the church

St. Helena’s Church, Austerfield – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Wampanoag Prospect – learn about the people the Pilgrims encountered in America.

Meet a Pilgrim Embroiderer (until 12:30 p.m.)

St. Swithun’s Church, Retford – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Help yourself with activities for children

Meet a Pilgrim Embroiderer

Cllr Jo White, Deputy Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said:

“Pilgrim Roots and Wampanoag Perspective have been fantastic projects to delve into our hidden stories related to migration, freedom and tolerance.

“In addition to the events and exhibits, the Wampanoag Nation of America visited and built a traditional house, called Wetu, in the garden of the Bassetlaw Museum. But it’s not over! The Pilgrims Trail will allow people to explore history at their own pace and at their own pace Educational resources are available at the Bassetlaw Museum.

“There is also a permanent gallery at the museum and the Wampanoag Wetu will remain in the garden for the coming year. Thank you to everyone who plays the National Lottery. You made this possible.

Pilgrim Roots tells a story of challenge, danger and death before finding refuge in a New World. It details the lives of William and Mary Brewster of Scrooby, William Bradford of Austerfield and John Robinson of Sturton-le-Steeple. The project also focuses on the devastating impact the settlers had on Native American nations and in 2021 members of the Wampanoag Nation traveled to Retford to tell their stories.

The Pilgrims Trail includes a group of local churches that were instrumental in forming the movement that led to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ journey to America in 1620, as well as the beginnings of the Baptist and Congregational branches of Christianity. William Bradford and William Brewster were important figures in the formation of the Plimoth settlement and the origins of their involvement can be traced to the services they attended at Babworth Church, led by Richard Clifton and supported by John Robinson.

Many sites are historic churches and generally cannot be visited. Each church opens at slightly different times. Please see or for details.

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