Concord - Minute Man National Historical Park
250 North Great Road, Lincoln, MA
Concord - Minute Man National Historical Park
Date of Battle: April 19, 1775
The British march out of Boston in search of cannons being stored by the Massachusetts militia. General Thomas Gage is under pressure to make a show of power in order to crush the spirit of rebelliousness in the colonies.
Paul Revere rides out to alert the militia. When the British column encounters a militia company on Lexington Green, a shot is fired – to this day, no one knows by whom. The British then fire, killing eight of the militiamen.
The British continue their march to Concord, where they destroy some minor armaments. Colonists attack a British unit left to guard the North Bridge. Having completed their work at Concord, the British begin their march back to Boston. They face nearly continuous attacks from a growing number of militia companies that have turned out to fight them.
By the time they reach Lexington, the column is exhausted and almost ready to surrender. Only the arrival of reinforcements allows the column to continue the march back to Boston. Their return marks the siege of Boston, which would keep the British trapped in the city for nearly a year.
Visiting the Battleground
Minute Man National Historical Park, created in 1959 in Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, Massachusetts, preserves and interprets the buildings and landscapes – the Battle Road, farmsteads, stonewalls, fields, orchards and homes – that became the field of battle during the first armed conflict of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775.
There are two visitor centers in Minute Man National Historical Park (NHP):
Minute Man Visitor Center. Address: 250 North Great Road, Lincoln, MA
North Bridge Visitor Center. Address: 174 Liberty Street, Concord, MA
Entrance Fee: None
Significant sites of interest in the park include:
The North Bridge: Colonial militia from Concord and surrounding towns exchanged gunfire with British regulars at this bridge crossing the Concord River on the morning of April 19, 1775. The Minute Man statue, on the Monument Street side of the bridge, was sculpted in 1875 by Daniel Chester French to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle. The bridge was immortalized in 1830 by Ralph Waldo Emerson in “The Concord Hymn,” written for the dedication of a monument at the site: “Here once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world.” Parking is available in a lot on Monument Street, across the street from the bridge. GPS for North Bridge and Minute Man Statue Parking Lot is: 42.469196, -71.348334.
Battle Road Trail: The Battle Road Trail is a five-mile walking trail which connects historic sites along the route that the British and colonists fought on April 19, 1775. The trail lies between Meriam's Corner in Concord and the eastern boundary of Minute Man NHP in Lexington. The trail is accessible from parking lots along Route 2A and Lexington Road.
Witness houses: Within Minute Man NHP there are eleven "witness houses" – houses that were standing on April 19, 1775. Many of the houses can be viewed along the Battle Road trail. At various times of the year, some of the houses are open for tours and programs. Check the Minute Man NHP web site for details.
Colonel James Barrett's house: This house was one of the destinations of the British on the morning of April 19, 1775. They believed that ammunition and artillery, including four brass canons, were stored on Colonel Barret's property. Prior to the arrival of the British, the colonists had removed the ammunition and canons. The house is typically open on the Sunday before Patriots’ Day. Address: 448 Barrett's Mill Road, Concord.
Special Events: The weekend of Patriots’ Day (the third Monday in April) many events typically take place at Minute Man NHP, including special living history programs and demonstrations. A patriot vigil at the North Bridge and other events take place on Patriots’ Day. Check the Minute Man NHP web site for details for this year.
The North Bridge and the Minute Man statue, open day and night year-round. The North Bridge is just a short walk from the NPS parking lot on Monument Street. Wayside exhibits (information panels) near the bridge provide details on the battle. Be sure to see Emerson’s famous words, “and fired the shot heard round the world,” inscribed on the monument base. On Patriots’ Day, there is a re-enactment of the battle between the British and minutemen in the early morning.
Colonel Barrett’s house and farm on the Sunday before Patriots’ Day when British re-enactors march to the house and search for munitions. Imagine how Colonel Barrett’s wife Rebecca felt as she saw the column marching towards the house!
Interested in other re-enactments? See our Top 35 Historic Battle Reenactments This Year for more!
Walk along the Battle Road in the late fall, winter, or early spring when there are fewer visitors. With less people on the trail, it’s easier to imagine what it must have been like for the colonists who lived along the road as the running battle took place during the British Army’s return to Boston.
Arrive by 8:00 a.m. for the re-enactment at the North Bridge on Patriots’ Day.
→ Have you been here? Do you have suggestions for others who are passionate about history and want to make the most of their visit, or recommendations for things nearby that every history lover should see? Please send send them in and we may add them to this page.
Contributor: This list of major Revolutionary War Battles and descriptions was written by Michael Troy, the creator and host of the American Revolution Podcast, who selected these sites and described the battles.
Photo: "Minute Man National Historical Park" by Jay Sullivan, licensed under Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.
Editor: Creation of this trip, including additional research on visiting these historic sites by Donna Keesling, editor at The History List.
Updated April 8, 2022