In 1688, Royal Governor Andros directed that King’s Chapel be built on a town burying ground when no one in the city would sell the congregation desirable land on which to build a non-Puritan church. This first structure was a small wooden chapel used by a small but growing Anglican community in Boston. By 1749, the building was too small for the congregation, which had grown to include a number of prominent merchants and their families. The present granite structure was built around the original wooden chapel, which was then removed through the windows of the new construction and rebuilt as an Anglican chapel in Nova Scotia.
The congregation hired America’s first architect, Peter Harrison, to design a church “that would be the equal of any in England.” The new church was completed in 1754. Harrison’s plans included a steeple, which has never been built, and a colonnade, which was not completed until after the Revolution.
The magnificent interior is considered the finest example of Georgian church architecture in North America. The church’s exterior columns appear to be stone, but in fact are painted wood, a cost-saving tromp l’oeil.
Corner of Tremont and School Streets
Parish House: 617-227-2155, Chapel: 617-523-1749
Summer Tour Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Winter Tour Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (May shorten hours in winter, please call to confirm)
Sundays: 11:00 a.m.; Wednesdays: 12:15 p.m.
Concerts at King's Chapel: Tuesdays: 12:15 p.m.; some Sundays 5:00 p.m. (See website for schedule)
No tours offered during services, recitals, special events, or winter recess. Please call ahead to plan your visit.