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Old North Church

  • Attractions
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4
Old North Church
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kevin P.Old North Church

Time Out says

Originally called Christ Church in Boston, the city's oldest church was built in 1723, its design inspired by Sir Christopher Wren's London churches. It played a critical role in the earliest days of the American Revolution: it was from Old North's steeple that lanterns were held aloft to warn the Minutemen of the movements of British forces. One lantern was to be displayed if the troops were seen moving by land, two if they were coming in by sea. They came by sea, and two it was, spurring Paul Revere to take his famous midnight ride - although Revere, a Puritan, never worshipped in this Anglican church. The steeple itself wasn't part of the original church, but was added in 1740, with replacement steeples built in 1806 and 1954 after hurricanes tore the previous versions down. In the window where the two lanterns were hung sits a third lantern, lit by President Ford on 18 April 1975, symbolising hope for the nation's next century of freedom. The church's plain white interior also features its original chandeliers, lit for Christmas services, and wooden box pews. These were rented by local families, who were free to decorate them as they chose. The decor and positioning of each family's pew was a sign of their social status, with coveted center pews attracting the highest rents. Today, the church's rich history attracts a steady stream of visitors, and the converted chapel next door houses a tasteful gift shop.

Written by
Time Out contributors


193 Salem St
Cross street:
Hull St
Green/Orange Line to Haymarket T
Opening hours:
Apr 1-Nov 15: daily 9am-6pm; Nov 16-Mar 31 10am-4pm
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