Trip Planner:   USA  /  Massachusetts  /  Lexington  /  Munroe Tavern

Munroe Tavern, Lexington

#6 of 11 in Things to do in Lexington
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · History Museum
Munroe Tavern, located at 1332 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, Massachusetts, is an American Revolutionary War site that played a prominent role in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It is now preserved and operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society, with exhibits highlighting the role and perspective of the British soldiers during the outbreak of the war. The house is open for guided tours on weekends starting in April and daily from Memorial Day weekend until the end of October.

The Munroe family line in America was begun by William Munroe (1625–1719), who was transported to New England in 1651 following his capture at the Battle of Worcester. The earliest part of the Tavern was constructed in 1735 on land then owned by David Comee. Later the proprietor rights were given to others. Another William Munroe (1742–1827), the great-grandson of the original William, purchased the house in 1770, and in October 1774 was granted a taverner's license from the town, shortly before the outbreak of hostilities in April 1775.

On April 18, 1775, one day before the outbreak of the battle, Munroe Tavern was a meeting spot for colonials, owned by William Munroe, orderly sergeant of Captain John Parker's militia company, and proprietor of the tavern until 1827. At 6:30 p.m. that evening, Solomon Brown of Lexington, who had gone to the market in Boston, returned and reported to Munroe that he had passed a patrol of British soldiers.

A large force of British troops arrived at Lexington before dawn the next morning, and shots were exchanged on the town common, beginning the Battles of Lexington and Concord. That afternoon the tavern served as the headquarters for Col. Hugh, Earl Percy, and his one thousand reinforcements. The British occupied the tavern for one and one-half hours, during which time the dining room was converted into a field hospital for the wounded, while exhausted British soldiers consumed liberal quantities of food and drink. The troops also shot down John Raymond, an infirm man residing in the family.
President George Washington dined at the Munroe Tavern when he visited the Lexington battlefield in 1789. An upstairs room now contains the table at which he sat and documents relating to his trip.

In the late 19th century, a Munroe descendant who owned the house rented out part of it to artist Edwin Graves Champney (1842–1899). The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The Lexington Historical Society now employs the Tavern for the Museum of the British Redcoats, providing a view of April 19, 1775 from the perspective of the King's troops. The building underwent renovation and restoration work in 2010–2011.

See Munroe Tavern and all Lexington has to offer by arranging your trip with our Lexington attractions planner.
Create an itinerary including Munroe Tavern
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Munroe Tavern reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
96 reviews
  • when i visited here i knew what went on back in 1775 when paul revere rode this way and iwant to do the same thingin myrv with two weels infront and four weels inback! love nickarussolillo 3/21/2021  more »
  • My husband and I were visiting family in the area at Thanksgiving. On Friday we decided to go to a few historical sites. It was nearly the end of the day when we got to this site, but the tour guide....  more »
  • We went on the tour with Elaine. My only qualm with the tavern is that it doesnt open until 12 and closes at 4:30. We left it to do last and to see all of the sights at Lexington takes well over a day. Nevertheless, Elaine was very welcoming to us late-comers. She is very knowledgeable about the tavern and really brings it to life. She is great at presenting the British side of the story. Moreover, the tavern's story dealing with Washington is adorable. And Elaine is great at presenting the comical story of Hankcock and Washington. Loved it!!! Moreover, Elaine even stayed after with us to just talk about history. Hands-down one of the BEST guides ever!!! Would definitely recommend the Monroe Tavern to all interested in a good story and history. It is amazing to get to walk where the incredible people of our past walked and worked.
  • I enjoyed this place because it gave the British side of the opening day of the American revolution. Parking can be a little difficult so I could only offer 4 stars rather than 5. The museum is also a little bit small but it is very nice.

Plan your trip to Lexington

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.