Historical Sites

National Monument to the Forefathers

72 Allerton Street, Plymouth, MA, USA

(508) 747-5360

Owned By: Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR)

The largest freestanding solid-granite monument in the United States, standing 81 feet tall. Dedicated in 1889 “to honor the Pilgrims who sailed to America on the Mayflower and established self-government at Plymouth Colony.” Formerly known as the Pilgrim Monument. Located at the top of Allerton Hill. Part of Pilgrim Memorial State Park.


After traveling from England by way of Leyden, Holland, the European settlers known as the Pilgrims chose to establish a community near Plymouth Harbor –around December 21, 1620. They surveyed the coast for three days, and ultimately chose their location because of its protected bay, as well as the fresh water provided by Town Brook.

This granite monument stands on a hill not far from the harbor. Completed in 1889, it memorializes a Victorian era interpretation of the pursuits that motivated the Pilgrims, such as morality, law, faith, education, and liberty. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974. Originally overseen by the Pilgrim Society, it became state property in 2001.

The design was originally conceived by Hammatt Billings, a Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor. His brother Joseph Billings, along with Alexander Doyle, Carl Conrads, and James Mahoney, produced the final design.

This land is within the region of the Patuxet Wampanoag. To learn more about our local tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Mashpee Wampanoag and the Herring Pond Wampanoag both share information on their websites.

Trail Description

A gravel access road extends all the way around the monument. Concrete pathways lead uphill to the monument at various points.

Habitats and Wildlife

The monument is situated on a grassy hilltop, surrounded by oak, maple, holly and sumac trees. The waters here flow down to Plymouth Harbor.

72 Allerton Street, Plymouth, MA, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 11 acres

Hours: Open seasonally, dawn to dusk, April through November.

Parking: Ample on-site parking.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


Porta potty, trash receptacles.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Limited access, due to steep terrain.

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Plymouth Harbor (Cape Cod Bay)

Other Things to Do at This Site