Refreshed Mayflower Museum is ready to open

Refreshed Mayflower Museum is ready to open

22 July 2022

The Mayflower Museum on Plymouth’s Barbican has re-opened ready for the summer following a major overhaul of its displays led by a team from The Box.

The refurbishment brings together the learnings from the Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy exhibition, which was on display in the city during 2020/21, and the Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America exhibition which toured nationally over the same period. Both shows were created by The Box in partnership with members of the Native American Wampanoag Nation.

Visitors to the Mayflower Museum can now enjoy an enhanced experience over three floors, starting with an introduction to Wampanoag history and culture, alongside stories of earlier English voyages to America.

An animation called Turtle Island, which was created for children and young people, is on show for the first time and helps tell the story of the emergence of America.

Mayflower faces image

Images featuring the faces of descendants of the Mayflower passengers as well as descendants of the Wampanoag people who met them just over 400 years ago are also on display. The photography is the result of partnerships with the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston, and SmokeSygnals, a Wampanoag cultural development organisation.

A new children’s trail will help younger visitors learn about more Wampanoag life and culture, as well as the Mayflower and its passengers.

Visitors can also reflect on the range of activities and events that went ahead as part of Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 commemorations, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including the No New Worlds light installation, The Hatchling and the Mayflower Autonomous Ship. They can also view new material from an Indigenous Plymouth trail, which reflects on new research into five centuries of Native American arrivals into Plymouth.

Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Leisure & Sport said:

I’m really proud of what’s been achieved at the Mayflower Museum over the last few weeks. The refurbishment has created a new and improved visitor experience, with so much for people both young and old to discover. It’s an important legacy from the city’s Mayflower 400 programme, and a great way to continue our commitment to presenting the story of the Mayflower story in a much more balanced way.

Forest room at Mayflower Museum

Victoria Pomery, CEO at The Box said:

Most of the information panels, banners and wooden graphics from the Legend and Legacy exhibition have been re-purposed at the Mayflower Museum. This level of recycling is unusual in the museum sector and we hope national colleagues will be able to learn from our experience. We’re delighted that we can continue to share the story of the impact of the Mayflower’s voyage, while minimising the environmental impact of such a major temporary exhibition.

Date display at Mayflower Museum

The Mayflower Museum is located above the Tourist Information Centre on The Barbican and is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.

Admission is £5 for adults, £2.50 for children and £3.50 for seniors/students. A family ticket is also available at £12.

You can follow the Mayflower Museum on Facebook.

You can find out more and access a number of resources linked to the original Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy and Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America exhibitions from the ‘Past Projects’ section of The Box's website.