Image by _Neo_World_ Five Hundred Pixels
Longfellow’s poem 'Paul Revere’s Ride' has immortalized this graceful church. It was here, on the night of April 18, 1775, that the sexton hung two lanterns from the steeple, as a signal that the British would advance on Lexington and Concord via the sea route. Also called Christ Church, this 1723 Anglican place of worship is Boston’s oldest church.
The 175ft steeple houses the oldest bells (1744) still rung in the US. Today’s steeple is a 1954 replica, since severe weather toppled two prior ones, but the 1740 weather vane is original. All visitors are invited to enjoy a 10-minute presentation about the history of the Old North Church. For more detailed information, a 30-minute Behind the Scenes tour takes visitors up into the belfry and down into the crypt, while the new Tolerance and Tombstones tour delves into the Anglicans' and Puritans' differing religious viewpoints.
Behind the church, several hidden brick courtyards offer quiet respite for a moment of peaceful meditation. Heading down the hill, shady Paul Revere Mall perfectly frames the Old North Church. Often called ‘the Prado’ by locals, it is a lively meeting place for North Enders of all generations.