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This bronze piece by acclaimed sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward (1830–1910) depicts one of the Pilgrims that landed at Massachusetts’s Plymouth Rock in November 1620. The monument was commissioned by the New England Society for the organization’s 75th anniversary.
The monumental figure is leaning on his musket, and his hat, boots, and belt buckle evoke the dress of the period. Architect Richard Morris Hunt (1828–1895) designed the rusticated granite pedestal, which features four bas-reliefs depicting various significant aspects of the Pilgrims’ landing, including the Mayflower ship and an image of a bible and sword. The piece was dedicated in 1885 in Central Park at the north side of the East 72nd Street throughway. The slope below the monument, known as Pilgrim Hill, has long been a favorite locale for sledding during the winter. In 1979, the Central Park Conservancy chose this piece as one of the first to be restored in Central Park’s comprehensive program to restore its collection of statuary. The powder flasks were recast and replaced in 1999.
Sculptor Ward has been referred to as the “Dean of American Sculptors.” He contributed nine sculptures to the parks of New York, among them Roscoe Conkling (1893) in Madison Square Park, Alexander Holley (1888) in Washington Square Park, William Earl Dodge (1885), now in Bryant Park, Henry Ward Beecher (1891) in Columbus Park, Brooklyn, Horace Greeley (1890) in City Hall Park, and The Indian Hunter (1869), William Shakespeare (1872), and the Seventh Regiment Memorial (1874) in Central Park. Ward worked with Richard Morris Hunt on many of these pieces. Hunt designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty (1886) and is honored with a bust and memorial by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) near Fifth Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets.
- Location: East 72nd St. entrance
- Sculptor: John Quincey Adams Ward
- Architect: Richard Morris Hunt
- Description: Statue, pedestal with sculptural panel
- Materials: Bronze, Quincy granite
- Dimensions: Statue H: 9'; Pedestal H: 16'7 ½" W: 5'10" D: 5'10"
- Dedicated: June 6, 1885
- Foundry: H. Bonnard, NYC
- Donor: New England Society
- Inscription: TO COMMEMORATE / THE LANDING OF THE / PILGRIM FATHERS / ON / PLYMOUTH
ROCK / DECEMBER 21, 1620/
/ERECTED BY THE / NEW ENGLAND SOCIETY / IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK/
Directions to Central Park
Know Before You Go
There are currently 3 service interruptions affecting access within this park.
Beginning June 27, 2018, Central Park will become entirely car-free. The Central Park transverse roads at 97th, 86th, 79th and 65th Streets will remain open to motor vehicles.
Belvedere Castle Visitor Center
Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The castle will reopen to the public in 2019. To reach our Urban Park Rangers at Central Park, please call (212) 360-1444.
Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The surrounding plaza and terrace remain open, but will also close in the coming weeks. The Belvedere will reopen to the public in 2019. For more information on the restoration of Belvedere Castle, please visit Central Park Conservancy's website.
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