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Historic Burying Grounds Initiative

The Historic Burying Grounds Initiative manages sixteen different burying grounds located in Boston.

These burying grounds range in date from 1630 to 1841. Gravestones, tomb markers, and monuments honor the many founding members of the community. This includes Revolutionary War heroes and men and women of national and international fame.

 search historic headstones

Three burying grounds — Granary, King's Chapel, and Copp's Hill — are located along Boston's Freedom Trail and attract thousands of visitors annually. With the remaining burying grounds:

  • eight historic are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • two sites, Central and Walter Street, are National Historic Landmarks, and
  • two sites, Central and Dorchester North, are designated Boston Landmarks.

The Granary lies within the Beacon Hill Architectural District. The South End Burying Ground is located within the South End Landmark District. The Eliot (Eustis Street) Burying Ground lies within the Eustis Street Architectural Conservation District.

Three cemeteries are active at the present time: Evergreen Cemetery (1850), Fairview Cemetery (c. 1893), and Mount Hope Cemetery (1852).

Learn more about the iconography of gravestones. You can also find out how we take care of Boston's active cemeteries.

  • Read our latest newsletter

    Read about the history of the Central Burying Ground, Copp's Hill gravestone conservation, and a rare gravestone for a Black Bostonian, Andrew Russell.

  • Newsletter signup

    Sign up for our newsletter:

  • Active Cemeteries

    There are three active cemeteries owned and operated by the Parks and Recreation Department.


Maps and visiting hours

Open daily from about 9 a.m. - 4 p.m:
Opened upon request with 24-hour advanced notice:

To request an opening please call the Cemetery Division at Mount Hope Cemetery: 617-635-7361. Please note burying grounds cannot be opened on Sundays.

About our maps

The maps listed below correspond to the location numbers listed in the database of legible grave markers. In the location numbers for all the burying grounds except Phipps Street and Walter Street, the letter preceding the slash indicates the name of the burying ground. The letter after the slash indicates the section. For Phipps Street Burying Ground, there are no letters that specify the name of the burying ground. For Walter Street, there is no slash separating the site code from the rest of the number.

Quality of our maps

The maps are of varying quality. Some maps have typed location numbers, some maps have hand-written location numbers, some maps are only partially legible, and on some maps only sections are fully legible (not individual grave numbers). We are working to improve the maps that have illegible areas, but the maps on-line are the best-quality maps that we have.

Burying grounds

Burying grounds

How you can help

If your family, business, or foundation would like to contribute — or if you would like further information — please contact project manager Kelly Thomas:

1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617-961-3034

Contributions made payable to the Fund for Parks and Recreation can be designated for a specific purpose or project and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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