This church was originally used by the British colonialists for their Anglican services from the time the original wooden structure was built in 1688. To make room for the growing number of its faithful, the church was expanded to its present-day granite structure in 1749. Following the revolution, the church became a Unitarian church. Adjacent to the church is Boston's oldest cemetery.
Richie and I are huge cemetery fans and take the opportunity to tour a graveyard when ever it is given to us. We couldn't resist visiting this burial ground while we visited Boston last summer. I think the boys were sick of walking at this point so they took the opportunity to chill on a bench while Richie and eye walked around and kept a close eye on these. There are a few famous people buried here included Elizabeth Pain whose headstone is said to be the inspiration for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The exact age of the burial ground is unknown but it is said to be the oldest in Boston. I was intrigued by the windy paths which take you are the small burial ground.
Richie and I are huge fans of churches, especially old ones. Every chance we get to visit one we jump at it. This was the first time we had all been in this church and actually the first time Sebastian, Thaddeus and Gryphon had been in a church at all. The boys really enjoyed walking around the church and liked even more sitting in the pews and playing church. This church has a very long and complex history. In fact the current structure isn't even the original church. The first building at this site was actually a wooden meeting house. The main focal point of King's Chapel is the wooden pulpit. What makes this pulpit special is that it is the oldest pulpit in the US which has been in continuous use. It is called the wine glass pulpit due to it's shape. I really liked the columns located throughout the chapel. They still hold services in the church. During these times the church is closed to tourists. For a complete list of visiting hours check out the website. Also check out the self-guided tour available at the website, it is loaded with all sorts of interesting facts about the chapel and the connecting burial ground.
The King's Chapel Burying ground is righ next door to King's Chapel on Tremont Street. The cemetery is the oldest in Boston and dates back to 1630. I don't like cemeteries so I stayed outside the gate as Liz explored the gravestones. Many famous people are buried here: The first Governor of Massachusettes Bay Colony; John Winthrop, William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere; Elizabeth Pain, the model for Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter; and Mary Chilton, the first female colonist to step ashore on Plymouth Rock.
Many of the stones are worn to the point that no writting can be seen and others are still clear to read.
King's Chapel was the First Anglican Church in Boston. The Church was completed in 1754 by Peter Harrison. The church is in a Georgian style and received many Royal gifts for its interior from King George II, Queen Anne and William and Mary. The exterior of the church is rather impressive and the inside seems simple in comparison to Roman Catholic Churches. The Rows of seating boxes inside are quite large and have display plates with who might have sat in them in the past. The focal point in the church is definitly the pulpit that rises high off the ground in order for the minister to preach down unto the congregation. After the Revolution the church became Unitarian and services are still conducted here.
There is no set"admission price"but you are asked to give a donation of whatever amount you choose. Liz and I threw $5 in as a donation.
Adjacent to King's Chapel, this burying ground is the oldest in the city and as such it is an important part of Boston's history. A little map at the entrance of the cemetery will help you locate some of its most famous "residents", such as Elizabeth Pain, the woman who is thought to have been the inspiration for the character of Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter". Also of interest are the Puritan headstones depicting death in a rather gruesome way...
For a small donation, it is also possible to go on a self-guided tour of King's Chapel (Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm). King's Chapel was completed in 1754, and the pews are still the church's original pews. Also, the wooden pulpit at the front of the church was built in 1717 for an earlier chapel that stood on the same site, which makes it the oldest pulpit in the US still in use on its original site.
King's Chapel Burying Ground is the oldest burying place in Boston proper. The burying ground is the final resting place for many colonists, including John Winthrop, the Colony's governor; Hezekiah Usher, the colony's first printer; Mary Chilton, the first women to step off the Mayflower.
This church was designed by Peter Harrison, and built in 1749. It had the first Anglican congregation in Boston. But during the Revolution most of the members left for Canada, as they were loyalists. In 1787, the first Unitarian congregation in America was established here.
The burial ground has the graves of John Winthrop, the first colonial governor, and other notables. One of the gravestones inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter.
When I visit old cemeteries, I try to imagine myself in the past. But as I stare at the graves of long dead people, who have nobody left to mourn them, I can't help but be distracted by the idiotic simplicity of the modern surroundings. In this case, I wonder what William Dawes' family would think of Ruth's Chris Steak House. It's just kinda weird having people eat $50 steaks as they look out at historical corpses. Yeah, I know, it's the circle of life. God's rolling his eyes at us as Jesus looks over his shoulder and says, "See, Father, I told you. They really are that bad."
King's Chapel Burying Ground is the site of the graves of many historical figures. It was Boston's only burial site for 30 years, and is a stop on the Freedom Trail.
Designed by Peter Harrison in 1749 for the first Anglican congregation in Boston, the King's Chapel possesses one of the most elegant Georgian church interiors of the colonial era. Because it was a stronghold of Loyalist opposition, most of the congregation left for England and Nova Scotia in 1776. In 1787 those remaining organized the first Unitarian congregation in America. The burying ground next to the chapel contains the remains of John Winthrop, the colony's first governor, as well as the gravestone that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Scarlet Letter.
There are a lot of famous cemetaries in Boston. It was really interesting to go inside & read the headstones because they are so old. Many of the people buried here were important in Boston's history, but I didn't recognize their names. The sign outside the cemetary mentioned among those buried here were Governors of Massachusetts, Lieut Governors of Massachusetts, Governors of Connecticut, Judges of Massachusetts, Ministers of Boston, and passengers of the Mayflower.
KING'S CHAPEL: Boston's 1st Anglican church built on part of the land seized from the oldest burying place in Boston which is adjacent to it. How so?
King James II ordered an Anglican parish to be built in Boston in order to insure the presence of the Church of England in America. But no Puritan would sell the Anglicans land. So, Governor Andros had to seize a corner of the burying ground instead!
Kings Chapel and Burying Ground. A short walk from the New State House is the oldest burying ground in Boston proper.
History: King James II ordered the Anglican parish to be built in Boston to ensure the presence of the Church of England in America. Colonists were not 'willing' to sell suitable land to the church, thus, the King ordered the Governor, Andros, to seize a corner of the burying ground for the church.
It is the final resting place of many colonists, including: John Winthrop and Mary Chilton-the first woman to step off the Mayflower.
King's Chapel Cemetery
Established in 1630. For 30 years the Burying Ground was Boston proper's only burying place. Some of the most prominent citizens of Massachusetts Bay Colony are buried here: the Colony's first governor, John Winthrop; William Dawes, Jr.,who rode with Paul Revere to Lexington and Concord; and the first woman to step off the Mayflower in Plymouth Colony, Mary Chilton.