Old Doctor Butler's Head, Moorgate, Shepherd Neame


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Originally established in 1610

One of the City of London’s most historic pubs, The Old Doctor Butler’s Head was originally established in 1610, with the present building dating back to just after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Nestled down an unassuming alleyway, our cosy pub transports you into Stuart-era London. With its black frontage and swan neck lamps lighting up the doorway, it exudes character - having welcomed people from all walks of life for the last four centuries. Find us on 2 Masons Avenue in Moorgate to be a part of our long history!

Who was Dr Butler?

The pub takes its name from one Dr Butler, a 17th-century self-proclaimed specialist in nervous disorders. His 'miracle cures' included holding consultation on London Bridge, during which the unfortunate client would be dropped through a trapdoor into the torrent below.

As a cure for epilepsy, he would fire a brace of pistols near his unsuspecting patient, to “scare the condition out of them”. In cases of the plague, he’d plunge the poor soul into cold water.

So highly was he considered, that despite his lack of qualifications he was appointed court physician to King James I.

Around that same time, he developed a medicinal ale for gastric ailments, which was available only from taverns which displayed Dr. Butler's head on their signs. This led to him acquiring a number of ale houses in the capital - of which The Old Dr. Butler's Head is the last one standing.

The ale is no longer on the menu...