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History Of Old North Church

The enduring fame of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. Built in 1723, Christ Church in the City of Boston, known to all as the Old North Church, is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and most visited historical site. In 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the majority of the congregation were loyal to the British King and many held official positions in the royal government, including the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, making Robert Newman’s loyalty to the Patriot cause even more extraordinary. The King gave the Old North its silver that was used at services and a bible. Each year we welcome over 150,000 visitors to our site to experience this unique and stirring monument to liberty.

About Old North

The Old North Church is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and one of the Freedom Trail’s most visited historical sites, known for “One if by land, and two if by sea,” and the midnight ride of Paul Revere. The Old North Church & Historic Site also includes :

  • The 1715 Clough House, one of Boston’s oldest surviving brick residences, which houses our colonial chocolate program, and our rotating gallery space, Patriots Corner.

  • A chapel built in 1918 for Italian immigrants, which now serves as the Old North Gift Shop.

  • Three large courtyards, two formal gardens, and a war memorial to soldiers fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Two adjoining townhouses, converted into use for administrative, educational, social, civic, and parish programs.

HISTORY The enduring fame of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton Robert Newman and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. Each year, over 150,000 people from all over the country and all over the world visit this unique and stirring monument to liberty. Click over to our This Old Pew article series to unlock the history connected to the pews and learn about the peoples, customs, and events that shaped the church into an American icon!

Note : The Old North Church & Historic Site is managed by The Old North Foundation, our 501(c)3 secular nonprofit steward. Christ Church in the City of Boston is an active Episcopal Church and partners with Old North Foundation to support our site.

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