Munroe Tavern


Munroe Tavern in Lexington




Built in 1735, the tavern served as the British field hospital, and headquarters for Lord Hugh Percy, during the Battle of Lexington on 19-Apr-1775.

The tavern is named for William Munroe, who was the proprietor from 1770 to 1827. Munroe was a Freemason, and interestingly, President Washington, who was also a Freemason, chose to dine there when he visited the Lexington battlefield in 1789. An upstairs room contains the table at which Washington sat.

The guided tour provides perspective from the exhausted British point of view.

Associated People

Perhaps the most important element in Washington’s military education during the French and Indian War was his development of a strategic sense. The struggle for the Forks of the Ohio had started as a Virginia affair, but it quickly took on an international prominence. Washington became one of the men at the center of the conflict. Although he had a limited understanding of the European politics and diplomacy that helped to fuel the war, he nevertheless sensed the crucial importance of Indian affairs. He also perceived the strategic value of the different regions of North America — such as the Middle Atlantic, the Ohio, and the Hudson Valley — and learned how British ministers thought of conquering or defending a continent. Most of all, he learned how war could become a battleground for the competing ambitions and interests of the various colonies.

Edward G. Lengel
General George Washington: A Military Life (2005)