Oudekerk/Pilgrimvaders Kerk (Pilgrim Fathers' Church)
Oudekerk/Pilgrimvaders Kerk (Pilgrim Fathers' Church) Review
On July 22, 1620, 16 men, 11 women, and 19 children sailed from Delfshaven on the Speedwell. Their final destination was America, where they helped found the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Puritan Protestants fleeing England for religious freedom usually went to Amsterdam, but this group, which arrived in 1608, decided to live in Leiden, then 10 years later opted to travel on to the New World. On July 20, 1620, they left Leiden by boat, and via Delft they reached Delfshaven, where they spent their last night in Holland. After a sermon from their vicar, John Robinson, in what has since become this church, they boarded the Speedwell, sailing to Southampton, England, then left on the Mayflower on September 5, reaching Cape Cod 60 days later.
The church was built in 1417 as the Chapel of Sint Anthonius, then extended and restyled in the Late Gothic period. However, in 1761 the ceilings were raised, and the current style dates back to this Regency revamp, when an ornate wooden clock tower was also added. Next to the choir is a vestry from 1819, where you can find a memorial plaque to the Pilgrim Fathers on the wall. The bell tower has a tiny balcony. The church is now owned by the Trust for Old Dutch Churches.
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