Architect Peter Harrison sent the plans for this Georgian-style building from Newport, Rhode Island, in 1749. Rather than replacing the existing wooden chapel, the granite edifice was constructed around it. Completed in 1754, it was the first Anglican church in Boston. George III sent gifts, as did Queen Anne and William and Mary, who presented the communion table and chancel tablets before the church was even built. The Puritan colonists had little use for the royal religion; after the Revolution, this became the first Unitarian church in the new nation. Today, the church conducts Unitarian Universalist services using the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
The burying ground, on Tremont Street, is the oldest in the city; it dates to 1630. Among the scary colonial headstones (winged skulls are a popular decoration) are the graves of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere; Elizabeth Pain, the model for Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter; and Mary Chilton, the first female colonist to step ashore on Plymouth Rock.
To continue on the Freedom Trail: Follow the trail back along Tremont Street and turn left onto School Street.