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Bunker Hill Monument marks end of Freedom Trail

Battle of Bunker Hill Monument
Lyle Ring

Marking the end point of the Freedom Trail, the Bunker Hill Monument, is a 221 foot obelisk commemorating one of the earliest battles of the American Revolutionary War.

On this site on June 17, 1775, American colonists faced powerful British forces. Though the colonists would ultimately lose the battle, they would repel two major attacks and almost half of the British forces would be counted as casualties in the battle.

It is often noted that the Battle actually took place on nearby Breed’s Hill (the actual site of the Monument) and not Bunker Hill. Due to several miscommunications the day before the battle, the Americans under William Prescott, encamped on the wrong hill and built an earthen fort there. On awaking the day of the battle the British were amazed at the speed in which the Americans had built their earthen redoubt.

Prior to the building of the Obelisk, which was completed in 1842 and dedicated on June 17, 1843, the site was home to an 18-foot wooden pillar with a gilt urn erected in 1794 to honor fallen patriot, Dr. Joseph Warren. Today, you can find a statue of Dr. Warren in the visitor lodge as well as National Park Service Rangers available to answer questions, and give talks on the battle and other aspects of the Revolutionary War.

To get to the top of the Monument visitors need to walk about its 294 steps, but once they are at the top they are treated to amazing views of the city and the surrounding Charlestown neighborhood. The Monument is open daily from 9 AM to 4:30 PM (check ahead during winter or bad weather to make sure it is open) and the visitor lodge at its base is open from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Located across the street from the Monument, The Battle of Bunker Hill Museum is a worthwhile stop. Completed in June, 2007, the museum houses all new exhibits about the Battle of Bunker Hill, the building of the Monument, and the history of Charlestown.