Did you know that King’s Chapel is home to the oldest burying ground in Boston? It’s true —and you can see for yourself what lies beneath the centuries-old property on a tour.
City Editors Jess and Vicki took a “Bell and Bones” tour at the historic building to see one of the few remaining crypts in Boston. There are two versions of the experience: an express tour (20-25 minutes) or the the Bell and Bones tour (45-55 minutes). Tickets for either version can be purchased in advance.
Our tour started in the chapel with live organ music playing above the pews where former members used to spend their Sundays. The pipe organ was the first in New England and it’s still tuned to the key that was used in the 1700s.
After a recap of the wooden church’s transformation into the stone building we see today, the tour leads out the back door to the crypt gate, near the King’s Chapel burying ground.
The crypt is located directly under the chapel and consists of 21 tombs. These brick tombs line the outside walls and are the final resting place of ~150 people. Twenty of these tombs belong to prominent members of the congregation from the 1700s and 1800s, including Hannah and Charles Bulfinch, who were originally buried there. The crypt remained an active burying ground until the tombs were sealed in the 1890s.
After the time underground, guests will climb to the second story to see the upstairs pews, followed by a trip to the bell tower, where you can see and feel a bell that was cast by the Revere family. Keep in mind when visiting: there are a lot of stairs, narrow passages, and low clearance pipes.
We would recommend this tour to anyone who wanted to learn more about the history of Boston and wanted to see our city from a different perspective, both underground + from the bell tower.