It’s not whether Plymouth Rock is the actual site of the Pilgrims’ landing that makes it special; that’s a matter of some dispute among historians. For Alexis De Tocqueville, Cole Porter and American schoolchildren everywhere, Plymouth Rock has continually served as a reminder of why the Pilgrims sought freedom in the New World. Note its humble appearance but remarkable significance. Now one-third to one-half of its original size, its miraculous survival reflects the survival of America itself.
Learn of the story of the famous rock. In 1741, when plans were drawn to build a wharf upon the Plymouth shoreline, one Plymouth resident, 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, wanted to visit the site before construction began. His father, he said, had shown him a rock that marked exactly where the Pilgrims had landed. He was conveyed to the site by chair and wept at the large stone we call “Plymouth Rock” to this day.
Since its dedication, Plymouth Rock has endured intense trials. In 1774 it was split in two during an effort to move it from the wharf to the town meetinghouse. In these troubled times just before the Revolutionary War, many interpreted this break as a sign that the Americans should “break” from England. The “1620” engraving on the rock, referring to the year the Pilgrims landed, was added when the two pieces of the rock were rejoined in 1880.
At various times, other changing fortunes befell the rock. Learn all of the entertaining details from the guides who stand next to it from May through Thanksgiving Day and answer questions. Spot the rock as you walk along Plymouth Harbor, just south of Mayflower II. Its unmistakable Roman-style housing makes it difficult to miss.
Pieces of Plymouth Rock are kept in veneration all over America. To see the original is a rare treat. Make contact not just with America’s founding, but with the way Americans have related to that story of the nation’s origin over the years.
This family-friendly Plymouth hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Richard Sparrow House, Plymouth Rock, and Mayflower II. National Monument to the Forefathers and Plimoth Plantation are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plymouth Harbor, Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock. National Monument to the Forefathers is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.
Situated on the Strip, this hotel is steps from Pilgrim Memorial State Park and Mayflower II. Plymouth Rock and National Monument to the Forefathers are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this property is steps from 1749 Court House and Museum, First Parish Church, and Spooner House Museum.
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Jabez Howland House, Plymouth Rock, and Mayflower II. National Monument to the Forefathers and Plimoth Plantation are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Plymouth, this property is within walking distance of Waterfront Visitor Information Center, Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock. Also nearby are National Monument to the Forefathers and Pilgrim Hall Museum.
Situated in the city center, this property is close to Jabez Howland House, Plymouth Rock, and Mayflower II. Also nearby are National Monument to the Forefathers and Harlow Old Fort House.
Situated in Plymouth, this vacation home is close to National Monument to the Forefathers, Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock. Also nearby are Plymouth Harbor and Plymouth Memorial Hall.