About us

The Harwich Mayflower Project is building an authentic replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America to a better life in the New World. The new Mayflower ship will embark on a new re-enactment and crucial journey that will carry today’s Adventurers as they face up to the environmental dangers and challenges presented by climate change.

This is a project that will inspire and deliver personal transformation, strategic local regeneration, community resilience and global co-operation.

  • Mission Statement: The aim of the Harwich Mayflower Project (HMP) in full is to build a full-scale, sea worthy replica Mayflower ship, sail her to the East coast of the USA in the 2020’s and to return to Harwich for further commercial exploitation; create a new iconic Maritime Heritage Museum and a Mayflower Visitor Heritage Centre; manage the training of young people of Tendring in ship/boat building and to engage fully in the regeneration of Harwich as a tourist destination.


Since the inception of the Harwich Mayflower Project in 2009 much has been done.  Here are some reminders of our progress to date:

  • • Acquisition of (leased) land for a build site.
  • • Establishment of a visitor centre and marine library.
  • • Admin offices.
  • • Total refurbishment of an old loco shed into a Yard workshop with upper floor timber marking out area thereby creating a Lofting Floor.
  • • Acquiring large scale cutting and timber moving equipment.
  • • Fitting out and setting up a training centre with over 600 learners achieving qualifications from those requiring basic and life skills to level 3 apprenticeships. We are registered centres for City & Guilds, EAL, SQA, NCFE and Gateway Qualifications having passed all their stringent requirements in teaching and learning.
  • • Creating artwork in the form of murals for the local area and the Abellio Greater Anglia Mayflower train line.
  • • The bulk of the ship’s keel and stern post are in place in the build yard.
  • • We built, during the summer of 2016, a 1/8 scale model of the Mayflower and displayed it at a reception at the US Ambassador’s residence at Winfield House in London. This provided significant trans-Atlantic interest and another example of our shipwright capabilities for the ship’s build.
  • • The Project is a leading stakeholder in the Harwich tourist community participating in the past year with the “Illuminate” arts festival, a Sea Shanty festival, a Beer festival and the Tendring Hundred Show. If there is an event in Harwich we are part of it!
  • • We are maintaining a strong link with our Mayflower 400 colleagues who represent the historic pilgrim origins and embarkation/repair ports of call during the original Mayflower’s intrepid jour­ney in 1620.
  • We have built and fitted out a new Mayflower Heritage Centre in the Yard where visitors can be told of the Pilgrim Father’s story and to watch future build progress of the ship. This Heritage Centre was jointly funded by Essex County Council and a private family heritage environment trust..
  • • Throughout 2016 we had an ever increasing number of visitors to the Project which indicates that we are a growing and clear visitor destination for the Harwich area.
  • • An “Illuminate Festival” co-ordinated with Mayflower 400 is a new annual event in Harwich at Thanksgiving time.

Under “Achievements” we have set out what had been done up to the end of 2016.  Since the New Year (2017) we have regenerated our Board of Trustees, re-worked our plans and reviewed our ambitions to help re-generate Harwich as a tourist focus.  The following adds more detail on these points of activity:


  • For a variety of personal, health and business reasons we have had an almost complete replacement of the previous Board of Trustees.  We have however retained the previous chair and deputy chair as advisers to help with the transition of the project to the new Trustee team; this is now almost complete.  A point to bear in mind is that our staff amounts to less than a handful and so we do not have the resources that many £multi-million projects have.  This is where the Trustees come in to help plug the gaps.  Importantly, the Trustees have a governance role by law and within the policies and requirements of the Charity Commission.  Further, the Trustees help our small staff team with (unpaid) time, enthusiasm and energy.  At the moment we have 5 Trustees and they are likely to be joined by one or 2 others by the summer.


  • Business plans and funding lines. We looked at our business plans in January and February 2017 and decided that we would update them.  The important factor is that we have found a 12 month period that was previously planned for port visits prior to the 2020 sailing.  This 12 month period allows us to slip our timeline so that we can accommodate the 29 months build/certification and trials, plus a 2 month contingency, before our planned sail date from Harwich in the summer of 2020.  The 2020 sail itinerary will start from Harwich and call at Rotherhithe, Southampton, Dartmouth and Plymouth thereby rehearsing the original journey of 1620.


We now have a new strategic, approach which is likely to be more attractive to the various funding sources that are potentially available. There is the build which as ever requires the lion’s share of funding.  To give an example, at 2016 prices, to build the Mayflower of Harwich within the Yard and to fit her out will cost about £4.2m.  There will additionally be other costs for berthing, sea trials and the voyage, as indicated above, in 2020.

In 2016 we were very close to a deal with an international media company which would have covered the full cost of the Project.  However at the end of the year they pulled out and that caused us a funding vacuum.  Now our Trustees are having negotiations with other enterprises so that we may work together in achieving both donors and high-worth sponsors.  We are re-opening bids with Heritage Lottery Funds and have another trans-Atlantic promotional/funding organisation in dialogue to help with joint US/UK donor lines; this will, as a matter of course, include the helpful 501(c)3 US tax exemption clause for American donors.

  • Broader activities. To capitalize on our resources and to meet our other project ambitions we are developing the old Harwich rail station buildings into a Transport and Maritime Heritage Centre.  As well as the well-practised visitor experience at the build yard where tourists learn about the Project, its aims, the build and the pilgrim story we will have another attraction at the station.  More news on that will be coming out shortly on our website.


We are still keen to re-start the skills training in our workshops as this is one of the pillars of our project aim.  Regeneration of marine related skills and follow-on employment in Harwich is still important to us.  We have the facilities but the funding is again our difficulty but we continue to work on it.


  • Regional interest. The new Trustee team has been in dialogue with Essex County Council and Tendring District Council.  Both bodies have shown great interest in our broader activities to help with tourism and local regeneration including skills and employment.  We have entertained a reception and presentation by Professor Mark Horton of “Coast” fame which was organised and generously funded by our outgoing Vice-Chair, Lynda Chase-Gardner.


  • And Onward! Big ambitions remain for the Project and the Trustees and staff at HMP are working tirelessly to get the ship built and to regenerate skills, employment and business in the Harwich area.  We hope that you have enjoyed reading the above and please keep in touch.  Please keep up with our website and call in to see how we are going.  Even better, join our band of volunteers!

Main Themes:

The Mayflower was  built in the Harwich area , she was commanded and part-owned by her Master, Captain Christopher Jones, whose house still stands on Kings Head Street. Jones sailed the Mayflower to Norway, the Mediterranean and France, exporting woollen cloth and importing wine.

In 1611 Jones decided to leave Harwich and move to Rotherhithe.
His house still stands in Harwich.

St Nicholas Church where Jones was married has a excellent collection of Delft tiles for public viewing.

Harwich Mayflower 400 – Replica Ship, Heritage Centre and exhibition – plans for the ambitious project include the European Tall Ships Festival visiting Harwich, a liveried train, development of

heritage skills, a training school, a mile of art installed along the railway station, a rose garden.

Guildhall – Harwich Compact Charter 1604 with James I and has Christopher Jones’ name included in the ancient script.

Councils and the local university are working with the team to to part fund a student to do a research project on the Mayflower in Harwich starting in the new year of 2017.

John Alden, who was the Cooper on-board the Mayflower was widely believed to be from Harwich, with family connections to the maritime town.

The connection with the Mayflower dates from 1609 when Jones was Master and part owner. This is confirmed in January 1610 when he is mentioned in an Admiralty document.

He was identified as Christopher Jones of Harwich, master of the Mayflower of the same place.

Developing Heritage tourism projects for the region leading up to 2020 and beyond

  • • The European Tall Ships Festival visiting Harwich
  • • Liveried railway locomotives on the Mayflower line promoting the Harwich Visitor experience.
  • • Further development ofheritage skills within our training facilities.
  • • A mile of art installed along the railway station,
  • • International Garden of Celebration – this area will enhance and rejuvenate an area that is presently untended. This will be a crucial part of an International fundraising initiative and indeed will be yet another visitor experience, especially for our American friends as each plant will be in memory of each passenger and crew member of the original Mayflower of Harwich
  • • Connections with Jamestown plus ‘The Friendly Invasion’ DEF project is developing US links.
  • • Coastal Campaign – bringing focus to the coast and maritime heritage – coastal path opening up in 2019
  • • Education – establishing local pride about Harwich connections with the Mayflower story
  • • Raising awareness about the Mayflower in the community.
  • • Increase US tourism to Harwich, which not only has significant links to the Mayflower, but was also the home of Chris­topher Newport who founded Jamestown.
  • • Working with Greater Anglia and schools adjacent to each network station, including regional airports to provide artwork created by the students, promoting not only the Harwich experience, but also to enhance their historic knowledge of their own community.
  • • The project and Mayflower 400 will continue to reach out to City Tour Companies and Cruise ship organisations leading up to 2020 and beyond.
  • • The release of the book “The Mayflower and Beyond” by Harry Black, Project Historian, will be coming soon.
  • • The Harwich Mayflower Project is planning now with partners and associates to run many events leading up-to and beyond 2020 .This includes working with our national and Dutch partners
  • • Harwich Short Film Festival
  • • Further development of the new Harwich Mayflower Heritage Maritime and Railway Museum. This includes a celebration of local Railway and shipping history, in addition to many 12th century, and earlier, historic coastal artefacts.
  • • The project has already met with an internationally recognised sculptor who is planning to create a 30’ column which will support a marble statue of Christopher Jones. Proudly overlooking Harwich International Port. Erected on Harwich historic quay front.

  • • Further development of promotional videos for broadcast, supporting our international fundraising partners.

Our Charity

Local News Featuring The Project

A selection of regional TV news broadcasts covering the Harwich Mayflower Project

National News Featuring The Project

Griff Rhys Jones spends a whole day at the Mayflower Project Griff in conversation with Tom Daly

International News Featuring The Project

A selection of USA broadcasts about our project in Harwich. This includes some short promo films created by the project staff and students

What our visitors say

Latest news

  • Harwich Mayflower Feature - Tendring Magazine
  • Murals at the Harwich Mayflower Project

Donate to The Harwich Mayflower Project

The Harwich Mayflower Project relies on the generosity of all its visitors to continue this second journey.

Our Partners & Associates

Here are a few of our friends, partners and associates. We don’t have enough space to thank everyone who has helped us over the years, but we routinely post our sincere thanks, and appreciation to our facebook page and blog.

Your Project


It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to make a 17th century fully functioning and sea going vessel like the Mayflower. Each and everyone of our Volunteers will become a part of not just nautical history, but will be apart of an international and global event upon the world stage. You too, can be apart of this magnificent journey that we are undertaking in Harwich.


Not only do we intend on building the Harwich Mayflower for the world to adore, we also have a wide range of interesting community based projects for the local area to not only enjoy, and admire but also to become a part of. Our ambitions will continue to develop and support the local and wider arching community for many years after the Mayflower has set sail. And with your continued help, we can continue our successful journey.

Our Store

Hey! Why not visit our store?

You can always see our top products below

Here at the Mayflower Project; we have developed a great working relationships with local artists to produce some fantastic products that are nautical themed. Perfect for Bars, Hotels or the Home! Check them out!

From the blog


Contact us


Let's connect


Get the updates


Stay connected

Get in touch


Address: George Street, Harwich, CO12 3ND
Phone: +44 (0) 1255 318 023
Email: info@harwichmayflower.com
Web: www.harwichmayflower.com


Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 18:00
Weekends: By Appointment, unless otherwise stated.

[contact-form-7 title=”Footer contact form” html_class=”use-floating-validation-tip”]