Boston, Lincolnshire: The Pilgrims and the Thread to America

Free entry and running from now until 2021 and beyond. 

New exhibitions…

Boston is known as the port and market town where, in 1607, a group of separatists famously attempted to escape to the Nertherlands, only to be betrayed and arrested.

The exhibition at Boston Guildhall, Boston: The Pilgrims and the Thread to America, shares a complex and compelling tale of intrigue and influence exploring Boston’s role in the Pilgrims’ story and also the later founding of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1630.  The thread that links the story of the Pilgrims in Boston to the puritans, who left for America in 1630, is a Boston cloth dealer, Leonard Beetson.

Beetson, arrested with known Pilgrims, never joined them in their eventual escape, instead remaining in Boston, England.  Beetson went on to become a Boston councillor and knew John Cotton, the charismatic and influential vicar of St. Botolph’s Church.  Beetson passed away before the Cotton Congregation began their movement in 1630 from Boston, UK over to Boston, America.  Cotton settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1633.  Famous characters linked to the exhibition include Pilgrims William Brewster, William Bradford and their friends and accomplices.

The exhibition is supported by original documents on loan from the Lincolnshire Archives, which have never been on public display together before, and that help tell these stories. Built in the 1390s, Boston Guildhall is the very building where the Pilgrims were tried and held. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of these characters, view the prison cells and stand in the court room where they were tried.


Saturday 7th May 2022

Boston Model Fairground Show

10:30am – 3:30pm, last admission 3pm.

Free Event, donations welcome.

Come and join us as Boston Model Fairground Show joins us here at Boston Guildhall.

These creations give you an insight into some of the larger rides that you’ll see at the Boston Mayfair plus some that have been in years gone by.

Boston Guildhall is available for Private Hire & is a Licensed Venue for Weddings.

If you would like to know more please contact

Wedding Venue, Meeting Hire, Conferences, Tours, Exhibitions, Museum Collections, School Trips and more….  01205 365954

Boston Guildhall, South Street, PE21 6HT

Our normal opening hours are Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat 10:30am – 3:30pm
Last admission 3pm