The Landscape Architect’s Guide to


Financial District / Government Center

Granary Burying Ground

Your Guide
Susannah Ross, ASLA

The Granary Burying Ground was established in 1660, 30 years after Boston’s first cemetery—the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, another nearby stop on the Freedom Trail—began to run out of space. Land for the Burying Ground—and the rest of the block on which it lies—was originally part of Boston Common, but was turned over for other uses as demands for space grew.

Oddly, the oldest gravestone to be found there dates from 1667, so perhaps the establishment of the Burying Ground represented good foresight, rather than an urgent need for gravesites.

It was originally called the “South Burying Ground,” but its name was changed in 1737 to reflect the adjacent granary building. Under the leafy canopy are buried some of the most prominent figures in American history.

The cool shade and dappled light invite visitors to explore, though 2011 improvements designed by Walker-Kluesing Design Group preserve the grounds by keeping pedestrians to paved walks.

View Sites Nearby