Explore Plymouth’s History on Burial Hill

Located at the heart of downtown Plymouth, Burial Hill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ fort, the Hill has been used as a burying ground since the 17th century. Over 2,000 headstones and monuments dating from 1681 to 1957 survive, providing records of the lives of Plymoutheans across three centuries.

In partnership with Pilgrim Hall Museum, the Antiquarian Society presents free, in-person tours of Burial Hill on the first Saturday of every month (February through December). See below for the 2024 schedule.

Virtual Tours

2022 Tours

A short series of Burial Hill tours was presented in 2022. Each in-person tour was recorded and released virtually. See below for links to these tours.

Travel Tales: Plymoutheans on the Move, with Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director, Plymouth Antiquarian Society Click here for the recording

Burying the Dead in the Early Republic, with Stephen O’Neill, Executive Director, Hanover Historical Society Click here for the recording

Mr. Davis’s Neighborhood, with Dr. Donna Curtin, Executive Director, Pilgrim Hall Museum Click here for the recording

Pits, Posts, & Palisades: Archaeological Findings on Burial Hill, with Dr. David Landon, Associate Director of the Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston Recording pending

2020 & 2021 Tours

Below you will find links to the virtual resources created during the COVID-19 pandemic as alternatives to the in-person tours usually offered on the first Saturday of the month.

First Saturday History Tours

2021 marked the 400th anniversary of the first full year of European settlement at Plymouth. In commemoration, the Pilgrim Society and the Plymouth Antiquarian Society presented a series of free, virtual programs exploring “firsts” in local history, some well-known and others less familiar. Learn more…

Tales of the Sea

Executive Director Anne Mason shares stories of Plymoutheans’ experiences at sea during a tour of Burial Hill on April 4, 2020, featuring an in-depth look at the Holmes family plot. Learn more…

“Remember me as you pass by”: Gravestone Epitaphs & Iconography

In this five-part video series Executive Director Anne Mason provides an introduction to popular 18th- and 19th-century gravestone motifs visible on Burial Hill. Carved symbols and inscriptions reveal religious beliefs, cultural attitudes, and perspectives on death. She continues exploring this theme during a tour of Plymouth’s Oak Grove Cemetery on May 2, 2020. This cemetery, located off of Summer Street, was created as a “rural cemetery” in the 1840s. Learn more…

Sing through History

Sing the songs of Plymouth’s past with Executive Director Anne Mason in this webinar, recorded on June 4, 2020. Discover local history through music and see hidden treasures from the Antiquarian Society’s archival collection. Learn more…

Spirit of Liberty: Plymouth & the Revolution

Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, explores local decisions made on the pathway to independence. Recorded on Burial Hill on July 4, 2020. Learn more…

Pilgrim Graves on Burial Hill

Stephen O’Neill, Executive Director of the Hanover Historical Society and Senior Lecturer at Suffolk University, visits some of the final resting places of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Recorded on Burial Hill on September 5, 2020. Learn more…

Finding Early Plymouth: An Archaeological View of Burial Hill

Learn about exciting insights into Plymouth’s 17th-century beginnings with Dr. David Landon, Associate Director of the Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research. Dr. Landon and his team from UMass Boston, in conjunction with Plimoth Patuxet and the Town, have expanded our knowledge of the colonial settlement through a multiyear archaeological study of downtown Plymouth. Recorded on October 3, 2020. Learn more…

Women of the Centuries

Dr. Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, honors a century of women’s suffrage in America during this virtual tour. Meet women from 400 years of Plymouth history who shaped their world through their ideas and actions, from the unnamed indigenous women of Patuxet to immigrant women of diverse heritage, including women of the Mayflower. Livestreamed from Burial Hill on November 7, 2020. Learn more…

Home for the Holidays: Festive Occasions and Family Gatherings

How did Plymoutheans celebrate Election Day, Forefathers Day, and other holidays in the 18th and 19th centuries? Explore local traditions on a guided tour by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society’s Executive Director, Dr. Anne Mason. Livestreamed on December 5, 2020. Learn more…


Learn more about Burial Hill’s gravestones and Plymouth  history using these free online resources: