Guided Tours

Walking Tours

Staff-led tours are offered on an ongoing and continuous basis when the site is open to the public. From January to June, this would be Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, and the second Saturday of each month, noon to 4 PM. From July through December, St. Paul’s is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9 to 5. During the period of heavy school visitation -- generally October-November, and April-June -- it would be advantageous to visit the site after 12 noon, to be assured of receiving a staff led tour.

A full tour of St. Paul’s generally runs 1.5 hours. The tour encompasses an orientation video of about 15 minutes, and an opportunity to view our museum exhibitions. Staff then lead visitors through the 18th-century stone and brick church that served as a Revolutionary War hospital, and one of the nation’s oldest cemeteries.
 
The St. Paul's Church bell

National Park Service

Church Tower Walks

During the Spring and Summer the National Park Service offers (weather permitting) tours of the historic church tower every other Friday at 3 p.m.

Visitors climb up the wooden staircase in the tower, leading to the church's 250-year-old metal bell, one of the oldest in the United States.

In 1758, the Church of England minister at St. Paul's decided to leave a gift to his parish as he prepared to retire. Reverend Standard, a wealthy man, ordered a bell for the church from London's Whitechapel Foundry (which also cast the "Liberty Bell.")

When the American Revolution reached New York in 1776, General George Washington ordered the removal of bells from New York City's churches to be melted down and cast into cannon. However, the parishioners at St. Paul's hid their bell in order to save it. During the war, Hessian troops tore down the wooden church for firewood.

When the war ended in 1783, the bell was returned and hung in the present stone church. Thereafter, it was rung for services and for the celebration of American Independence on July 4.

The Tower Walks allow visitors a singular opportunity to come face to face with the bell's historic connections to the colonial celebration of the King's Birthday, the destruction of the Revolutionary War, and the celebration of the independence of the new nation.

Last updated: January 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

897 South Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, NY 10550

Phone:

(914) 667-4116

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