The experiences of the Pilgrims, who followed their Faith across the sea to create a new world, form a quintessential American narrative
that continues to inspire people throughout the world today.
– Donna Curtin, Ph.D.
Director of the Pilgrim Society & Pilgrim Hall Museum
First Parish Church in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is the birthplace of religious and civic freedom in America.
Envisioned to be a lasting memorial to the Pilgrims, the present 1899 Meetinghouse sits on the site where the Mayflower’s courageous passengers gathered their church nearly 400 years ago at the base of Historic Burial Hill.
With continuous records dating back to 1606 in Scrooby, England, where the Separatists were forced to worship in secret in William Brewster’s manor house, Plymouth’s First Parish is possibly the oldest continuous western spiritual institution in America.
Through its Norman architecture, unaltered Arts & Crafts interior, and unique stained glass windows, the 1899 Meetinghouse celebrates the freedoms established by the Pilgrims—freedoms that continue to draw immigrants to America from around the world: civil and religious liberty; democracy and the rights of the individual; freedom of speech; freedom of the press, and the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers.
In 2014 the Meetinghouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior due to its historic importance and architectural significance. Like the previous four Pilgrim Meetinghouses, First Parish remains the centerpiece of Plymouth’s historic Town Square.