Bell Ringing Chamber at Old North Church – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Bell Ringing Chamber at Old North Church

The oldest working bell set in North America, the bells at Old North Church sat silent for their first four years in Massachusetts. 


The church had spent so much on the English bells that they couldn’t afford to hire a bell ringer.

Until a fifteen year old boy approached the church with a proposal: pay him and his friends to ring the bells. This enterprising young lad succeeded in his proposal - he was none other than Paul Revere. Revere later used his knowledge of the height of the bell tower to formulate his plan for warning of the British troops arrival in 1775.

The entire tower is constructed to hold the weight of the bells and absorb the enormous sound of the giant gongs – otherwise, the bell ringers would become deaf much like Quasimodo.

Now, the bells are rung by citizens and MIT students who study the highly mathematical patterns and techniques of “change ringing”. They are rung each Sunday for one hour. Visitors can climb to the bell ringing chamber for $5 as part of a brief tour.


Know Before You Go

Part of same tour for crypts

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