Burial Hill

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William Bradford's monument on Plymouth Burial Hill

Burial Hill is a historic cemetery or burying ground in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the burial site of several Pilgrims. The cemetery was founded in the 17th century and is located off Leyden Street, the first street in Plymouth.


Burial Hill. ca.1890

The first Pilgrim burial ground was on nearby Cole's Hill in 1620-21.[1] Originally, the Pilgrims constructed a fort on top of Burial Hill in 1621-22 (a reconstruction exists in nearby Plimoth Plantation).[2] The Burial Hill fort also served as a meeting house for the colony and for First Parish Church in Plymouth until 1677.[3] According to tradition, the first grave on Burial Hill was Pilgrim John Howland's.[4] However, he did not die until 1672; other people claimed to be buried there died considerably earlier.[5]

First Parish's congregation currently meets in an 1899 church building at the base of Burial Hill on the town square, near where it first met in 1621.[6]

Notable burials and cenotaphs[edit]

See also[edit]



Coordinates: 41°57′22″N 70°39′58″W / 41.956°N 70.666°W / 41.956; -70.666