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Untitled Document Updated 1/2015
What Became of the Mayflower? Did it end up as part of a barn in Great Britain?

Ever wonder what became of the Mayflower, the ship which took 102 Pilgrims over the Atlantic to North America in 1620? If you are expecting to find it docked to some pier, or in a museum, you’d be wrong. That’s because the Mayflower most likely ended up as scrap wood and may have ended up in an old Quaker Barn in Great Britain!

It was common practice many years ago in England to use unseaworthy ships’ timber to build things. Dutch Elm disease had killed many of the trees of 17th century Great Britain and lumber was very scare. To preserve the number of oak tress from being cut for lumber, wood was priced quite high by the government, making any available timber, such as that in old ships, very desirable. Since the Mayflower wasn’t an important ship to the people of Great Britain, this is the fate that most likely happened to the Pilgrim’s ship.

In the early 1900s, a Quaker Historian , named Rendel Harris, found a document stating that the Mayflower had been determined to be unseaworthy in 1624. The ship’s owners then sold the oak ship for its timber to make some money. Then, while attending a funeral at the Quaker Meeting House in Jordans, England, Harris heard someone say the barn had been built from wood of the Mayflower. That got Harris hunting through documents such as wills and deeds to try and find out whether this was true.

The age of the barn’s timber dates back to the time of the Mayflower and the barn was said to have been built by one of the owner’s of the Mayflower. If you go to the barn, you will notice that the main beam in the barn has a huge crack in it, just like the Mayflower got on its maiden voyage during a bad storm. The size and weight of the hull used in the barn’s construction matches that of the Mayflower and at one time, the letters ER HAR were evident, perhaps, referring to “Mayflower, Harwich, the ship’s home port.

One thing is certain, if you tilt your head upside down, you can see that a hull of a ship was used to build the roof of the barn...whether it was the Mayflower, that can’t be certain.




*I visited the Mayflower Barn and took these photographs. Untitled Document


1. 102 passengers in addition to the crew were aboard the Mayflower when it set sail from Southampton, England, on September 16, 1620.

2. It took 65 days to cross the Atlantic.

3. There were 18 adult women that made the voyage.

4. A baby, named ,Oceanus Hopkins, was born on the voyage.

5. During a very bad storm, one of the main beams of the ship cracked causing discussion of turning back. Fortunately, a giant screw(perhaps, from a printing press or other equipment aboard) was used to repair the beam so the voyage could continue.

6. The ship sighted Cape Cod on November 19, 1620, and dropped anchor at what is now called Provincetown Harbor on November 21st.

7. Before leaving the ship, a temporary government was established with the document called the Mayflower Compact.

8. By the time of the first Thanksgiving, only 4 of the 18 women had survived. In total, 52 members of those who who made the journey had died from disease and the harsh winter.


Sites of interest:

See the Pilgrim Memorial State Park(Plymouth Rock)

Mayflower History passenger list

Enchanted Learniing Diagram of the Mayflower crossing the Atlantic


Check out my Mayflower and Pilgrim Webquest. There are also extension activities. Click here:Mayflower/Pilgrim Webquest

Check out my Thanksgiving Webquest(and fun/informative facts about turkeys,too!)Click here:Thanksgiving Webquest

Although I have tried to review each link, please check the site to see if it is appropriate for your grade level. Also, please monitor that students stay at the link. Should you find something questionable, please let me know. Thanks!