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Boston is a thriving market town with a fascinating history – and has important links to the Pilgrim Fathers who helped found America.

A Brief History of Boston

In the 13th century, Boston was the leading port in England, exporting wool, lead and salt to mainland Europe whilst importing exotic goods such as wine, fur and spices.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the port grew in size and importance and Boston became the wealthiest town in Lincolnshire. However, a gradual decline due to the advent of the railway has seen it become a small, yet thriving, port.

By the 17th Century, Boston was at the centre of religious non-conformity and played an important role in The Pilgrim Fathers’ journey to the New World.

Places to visit in Boston:

St Botolph’s Church

More commonly known as Boston Stump, it is the town’s 700-year-old parish church. Not only is it the widest church in England, it also has tallest tower – over 272ft (83m) high.

For those brave enough to climb the 365 steps to the top, there are views of Lincoln Cathedral over 32 miles away (on a clear day)! 

It is the town’s most famous landmark, with an on-site café and shop for refreshments.

Boston Guildhall Museum

A beautiful medieval building that features both temporary and permanent exhibitions, including the story of The Pilgrim Fathers’ imprisonment there.

There are activities suitable for all ages, with toilets and a shop available on-site.

Fydell House

Situated next to the Guildhall, this is a magnificent Queen Anne-style house, built in 1726 by a former Mayor.

Often said to be ‘the most beautiful house in Boston’, this spectacular building also has gorgeous landscaped gardens for you to walk around.

Open daily from 10am – 4pm, with refreshments also available on-site.

Maud Foster Windmill

A 10-minute walk from the Market Square. Here you can experience some of the history of Boston, including watching flour being made the traditional way.

This impressive 80ft windmill was built in 1819 and still works to this day. You can even rent an apartment within the windmill itself – perfect for a weekend getaway with a difference!

Open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am-5pm with a shop selling souvenirs and gifts. 

Hussey Tower

A short walk from the town centre, this red brick tower is all that remains of the manor house of Sir John Hussey, courtier to King Henry VIII.

There is so much history to absorb as you walk around this incredible building. Although you cannot enter the building itself most days, there are special days when access is permitted by The Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire.

Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial

The memorial is located just outside Boston at the site of Scotia Creek, where the Pilgrim Fathers were arrested as they tried to flee to Holland.

Set within the beautiful Havenside Country Park and Nature Reserve, the Pilgrim Memorial is the perfect place to learn about our local history while enjoying the beautiful sights of the Lincolnshire countryside.

If you are planning to visit Boston and take in some of the sights, don’t forget to check out our list of the best hotels in Boston to ensure your stay is comfortable as well as memorable!

Books about Boston:

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