The Battle of Bunker Hill marked a shaky British victory in the American Revolutionary War on June 17, 1775. During the battle (which was ironically fought mostly on Breed's Hill, where the monument now stands), the British sustained massive casualties in spite of the victory and were forced to rethink their stance in the war. The battle today is thought of as a symbol of American Patriot bravery that ultimately led to the outcome of the war--the freedom of the United States.
Originally, on top of Breed's Hill after the battle, a small memorial was erected by the American Mason's to honor one of their fallen members. This consisted of a wooden pillar and urn that stood 18 feet tall. In 1823, the Bunker Hill Monument Association was formed in an interest to create a more permanent monument to commemorate the battle. The group purchased the entire battlefield site on top of Breed's Hill. The obelisk design that stands today was decided on by this group, and it became the first of this design to stand on American soil (pre-dating the more iconic Washington Monument).
In 1842, the Bunker Hill Monument was completed and opened to the public. Visitors of the Bunker Hill Monument today can ascend the 220-foot tower to peak out the small windows on the top for a better view of Boston from the north. Admission to the monument is free, and it is open from 9am to 5pm every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. There is also an exhibition lodge at the base where visitors can gain more knowledge about the Revolutionary War and view artifacts from that time.
The Bunker Hill Monument is an excellent place to visit if you are looking to experience a bit of American History firsthand. It is one of the many stops on Boston's historic Freedom Trail, so it is convenient to most tours of the area. The views from the top are excellent and worth the hike up the stairs. The Charlestown neighborhood, where the monument is located, is both charming and historic and is also an excellent place to stop by.