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This event was originally planned for 2020 but has been postponed until Bank Holiday Saturday 28th August 2021. Tickets already purchased will be valid for the new date.

It was due to an invite from the Lord Mayor of Plymouth to attend the 350th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1970 that lead to the Great Torrington Cavaliers formation with the motto “Let’s put on events the like of which Torrington has never seen before!”

2020 is the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower sailing and our 50th so this bonfire is going to be something special. We are officially an "On Board” partner of the Mayflower 400 team who are co ordinating the national commemoration and the links with the USA and the Netherlands. Our bonfire spectacular is now part of the Mayflower 400 year of events.

The build in now in progress and can be followed on our bonfire Timeline here

The planning and building of such a spectacular event takes a lot of time and dedication from our members and helpers but also all the organisations and individuals who help make this all possible whether it be financial, free hire of plant and staff, construction of specialist items required, loan of facilities to stage events free of charge, donations, both financial and equipment / materials, fundraising, loan of land the list is not exhaustive please see who is helping us so far at our friends and supporters page here.

Tickets will be back on sale soon on our  "Events Ticket Sales" page

Below is a photographic impression of what the bonfire will look like, this is not the proper plan but it does give you an idea of what we are building.


Mayflower bonfire
Mayflower bonfire

The Church

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII was aware of the importance of having a son and heir. When his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, only provided him with a daughter, Henry wanted a divorce. However, he was unable to get one from the Pope and so decided to break away from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry VIII created his own church, with its own rules; it was called the Church of England. In doing this, Henry was expelled by the Pope and the reformation of the English churches had started.

Many believed that Henry’s new church was still too similar to the Pope’s and wanted even more changes. Some wanted to separate it from other churches by purifying it of all Catholic practices. They became known as the Puritans. However, others believed that you could not change the church and that the only way to form a new group was to break away entirely. They became known as the Separatists. Unfortunately, for the Separatists, if you did not follow the state religion, the Church of England as set out by King Henry VIII, you would be prosecuted.    

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