NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Old North Church, Boston Mass.
This is where the lanterns were hung: "one if by land, and two if by sea" and Paul Revere and William Dawes rode to warn that "the Regulars are out!"

 


 

 

The Episcopal Christ Church in the City of Boston, better known as Old North Church, is located on Copp's Hill in Boston's North End, just down the street from the Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Built in 1723, it is the oldest church in Boston still in active service, with Episcopal services every Sunday.

You can see by the church's hillside location (193 Salem St—map) why it was a good place from which to give such a signal.

It was two lanterns hung in the tower that started Paul Revere and William Dawes on their fateful night rides on April 19, 1775 to warn the Colonials in Lexington and Concord that British Regular troops were heading out from Boston to search for hidden arms.

Old North Church is open for visits daily (closed Monday in January & February), for free, although donations for support of the building are gratefully received. More...

A walk around inside turns up many curiosities that bear on the history of Boston and the United States: memorial plaques to famous men, nameplates on the very high pews.

The tall graceful windows of Old North Church are exceptionally fine. The bust of George Washington on view within the church is, according to the Marquis de Lafayette, the best likeness of Washington that he had seen.

Although it's now hemmed in by houses and shops on all sides, Old North Church does have a set of tiny terraces and gardens open to the public on its north side.

The small formal garden and the fountain are good to refresh your spirit on a hot day, and the memorial plaques set into the walls are, in some cases, delightful. One reads:

1757-1923

Here on September 13, 1757
"John Childs who had given public notice of his intention to
Fly from the steeple of Dr. Cutler's church, performed it to
The satisfaction of a great number of spectators."

"In 1923 the year of the first continuous flight across
The continent this tablet has been placed here by
The Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America
To commemorate the two events."

The question that comes to mind: would it not have been faster to dispatch John Childs by air from the steeple to Lexington and Concord rather than Dawes and Revere on horseback by land, on that historic night in 1775?

Old North Church (Christ Church)
193 Salem Street (North End)(map)
Boston MA 02113
Tel 617-523-6676

—by Tom Brosnahan


Paul Revere

North End

Charlestown

The Freedom Trail

North End & Charlestown Walking Tour

What to See & Do in Boston

Finding Your Way in Boston

Hotels in Boston

About Boston

 

 

Old North Church, Boston MA

Boston's Old North Church—that steeple
is a great place for a signal lamp!

 

 

 

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