The monument was erected to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major conflict between British and Patriot forces in the Revolutionary War, fought there June 17, 1775.
The Bunker Hill Monument is not on Bunker Hill but instead on Breed's Hill, where most of the fighting in the misnamed Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place.
The first monument at the site was created in memory of Mason and fallen Bunker Hill hero Dr. Joseph Warren in 1794 by King Solomon's Lodge of Masons and was initially an 18 foot (5.5 m) wooden pillar topped with a gilt urn.
An exhibit lodge built adjacent to the monument in the late 19th century houses a statue of Warren and a diorama of the battle. Bunker Hill is one of the sites along the Freedom Trail and is part of Boston National Historical Park.