Cole’s Hill is a National Historic Landmark containing the first cemetery used by the Mayflower Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. The hill is located on Carver Street near the foot of Leyden Street and across the street from Plymouth Rock.
Owned since 1820 by the preservationist Pilgrim Society, it is now a public park. Cole’s Hill rises steeply from the shore of Plymouth Bay, near Plymouth Rock, the traditional landing site of the Pilgrims in 1620. It is now bounded by Water, North, Carver, and Leyden Streets. The hill is landscaped with grassy areas, low shrubs, and some trees, and trails wind their way around the hill. A granite staircase rises from Water Street to the summit of the hill.
A number of monuments and memorials are on the hill, most of which date to the tercentenary (300-year anniversary) celebration of the Pilgrim landing in 1920. These include a Cyrus Dallin statue of the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit (c. 1581–1661), whose support was critical to the Pilgrims’ survival. At the southern end of the hill stands a granite sarcophagus erected by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1920. It contains skeletal remains accidentally disinterred from the hill in the 18th and 19th centuries, which are believed to be those of Mayflower settlers buried here in the winter of 1620-21 when 52 out of 102 died. Two stone benches, one placed by the Pennsylvania Society of New England Women, the other by the Society of the Daughters of Colonial Wars, face seaward.