Masons Avenue

City, Coleman Street (EC2) Name derived from the "Freemasons." For many years "The Freemasons' Tavern" in this avenue was the meeting- and dining place of various lodges. After many vicissitudes in recent years, the building is now owned by the Russian Government. Formerly known as Rose Court, here, in 1616, William Butler opened a tavern especially to dispense a brew of ale invented by himself. So excellent was it, and so much in favour with high and low, that-so the story goes-the reigning monarch conferred upon the tavern keeper the degree of "Doctor." From that time the tavern was known as "The Dr. Butler's Head," now "Ye Olde Dr. Butler's Head." It is still there, doing a roaring trade after more than three hundred years, and if not wholly the original building, the interior is practically the same. Said to possess the oldest licence as a tavern in the City, it is well worth a visit, and not for its old associations alone.