Bunker Hill Monument

 

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"

This legendary order has come to symbolize the conviction and determination of the New England soldiers who faced a powerful British attack at this site on June 17, 1775. Popularly known as "The Battle of Bunker Hill," bloody fighting took place across a hilly landscape of fenced pastures over the Charles River from Boston. Today the Bunker Hill Monument stands atop a prominince of the battlefield now known as Breed's Hill. This 221-foot granite obelisk marks the site where colonial forces constructed an earthen fort, or "Redoubt," prior to the battle. This Redoubt became the focal point of the British assaults during the battle, and remains the focal point of the battle's memory.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far come this site to learn about the battle, climb the monument, seek out green space, and find inspiration.

Visit the grounds of the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Bunker Hill Monument has drawn visitors to climb the 294 steps to the top of the obelisk since dedication in 1843. Today, a visit to Bunker Hill is more than just a challenging climb to an unparalleled view of the city. The historic 1901 Bunker Hill Lodge adjoins the Monument and houses the statue of Joseph Warren, portraits, and a Revolutionary War cannon, "The Adams." Visitors wishing to climb when the Monument is open enter via the Bunker Hill Lodge. Be sure to check in with the ranger on duty.

The park's main exhibits are at the Bunker Hill Museum. Located across the street from the Monument grounds, the exhibits are housed in the old Charlestown Branch building of the Boston Public Library. Here, visitors can explore more about the Battle of Bunker Hill, the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument, the memory of the battle, and the history of the Charlestown neighborhood.

Bunker Hill Monument, Lodge, and Museum are all free admission.

Today's Hours

 

The Battle

The Battle of Bunker Hill pitted a newly-formed and inexperienced colonial army against the more highly trained and better-equipped British. Despite the colonial army's shortcomings, it was led by such capable men as Colonel William Prescott, Colonel John Stark and General Israel Putnam, who had experience fighting alongside the British in the French and Indian War. Although the British Army ultimately prevailed in the battle, the colonists greatly surprised the British by repelling two major assaults and inflicting great casualties. Out of the 2,200 British ground forces and artillery engaged at the battle, almost half (1,034) were counted afterwards as casualties (both killed and wounded). The colonists lost between 400 and 600 combined casualties, including popular patriot leader and newly-elected Major-General Dr. Joseph Warren, who was killed during the third and final assault.

 
Bunker Hill Monument

Monument and Memory

The first monument on the site was an 18-foot wooden pillar with a gilt urn erected in 1794 by King Solomon's Lodge of Masons to honor fallen patriot and mason, Dr. Joseph Warren. In 1823, a group of prominent citizens formed the Bunker Hill Monument Association to construct a more permanent and significant monument to commemorate the famous battle. The existing monument was finally completed in 1842 and dedicated on June 17, 1843, in a major national ceremony. The exhibit lodge was built in the late nineteenth century to house a statue of Dr. Warren.

Bunker Hill Site Bulletin (1.9mb pdf)

Salem Poor: A brave and gallant soldier (76kb pdf)

What? No Elevator? And Other Facts About Bunker Hill Monument (232kb pdf)

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston , MA 02129

Phone:

(617) 242-5601
Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center

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