Burial Hill

Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Burial Hill dates back to colonial times and is the oldest cemetery in Plymouth. Before it became a cemetery, it was the site of the Pilgrims’ watchtower, the first fort commanding the harbor entrance with cannon, a meeting house, and a place of worship. It sits high on a hill overlooking Plymouth Harbor and hosts gravestones dating back to the 1680’s.

Those buried here include several Mayflower passengers, early settlers of the colony known as Pilgrims, heroes of the Revolution, soldiers of other wars, and the men who went “down to the sea in ships” braving dangers in the days of Plymouth’s maritime glory.

The entrance to the graveyard is via stone steps adjacent to First Church. The site is a quiet spot in the shadow of century old trees. Small knolls and valleys are covered in old stones of every shape and size with art spanning three centuries. Some of the oldest art forms of Memento Mori are visible. Olde English spelling is also evident.

MA_Plymouth_Burial hill

MA_Plymouth_Burial hill_illegible

Ah, Art thou gone
Thy short journey o’er
Oh lovely child shall we not see thee more
Thy soul has gone to everlasting rest
To dwell with Christ and be wherever blest
We’ll not reprine nor wish thee back again
To this dark world of trouble and of pain
Nor will we murmur at the hand divine
That took our daughter
Lord for she was thine. – 1837


Strangers and friends when you gaze on my urn
Remember death will call you in your turn
Therefore prepare to meet your God on high
When you ride glorious through the upper sky. – 1807

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