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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th September 2019) with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

Picture of Square & Compass
Image posted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
Submitted on Sunday, 25th June 2017
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Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Swanage

Worth Matravers
BH19 3LF
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of Square & Compass (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about Square & Compass

Blessed with a great location on the side of a hill, looking down across the fields to the sea below, this is a fantastically well preserved pub serving this small quarrying community and the flocks of tourists who descend here for the surrounding walking country. The pub has been owned and operated by the Newman family for over 110 years now (a plaque in one room commemorates their 70th anniversary), and this consistency of approach has helped them feature in every edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide – one of only five pubs, at the time of writing, to hold this distinction. As classic, rural pub interiors go, this place has to be one of the best examples in the country, having retained its corridor servery and two room layout with minimal alteration over the years. Passing through the front garden, with its various benches affording great views out to sea, you enter to the quarry stone floor corridor with the serving area directly opposite. The corridor turns 90 degrees to run to the left, passing a second serving hatch and a small alcove where you can prop you pint and stand should no other seating be available. The main room is to the right of the corridor and sees a parquet floored room with wood panelled and Purbeck stone walls filled with standard tables and chairs under a simple wood beamed ceiling. An attractive stone fireplace on the end wall was lit on our post-Christmas visit and the room was accordingly packed with locals and walkers all wanting to warm up around it. The walls have been decorated with a few pictures and photos, mainly of local interest and a number of CAMRA certificates were lined up along the left hand wall. The other seating area appears midway along the left hand branch of the corridor. This is a more compact room with hard, fixed bench seating around three sides and some low stools in the middle. The room is dominated by a massive fireplace which covers the entire end wall and has an ancient looking stove inside, a fine bottle collection above and a few interesting old bits of furniture around it. The walls here have various interesting bits of breweriana on display, plus more local photos and some old maps of the surrounding area. The corridor extends as far as a final room at the far left hand extremity of the pub, which has been converted into a small, single room museum, dedicated to the area’s famous geology and fossils. There are no full dinosaur skeletons here – it’s a more modest affair – but there are a couple of replicas of famous local fossil finds, plus interesting fossil and stone displays and a few bits of dubious taxidermy.
The serving hatch means there is no bar as such (although the second hatch to the left does have a small counter of sorts), so you place your order and the friendly staff trot off to pour the beer from elsewhere. There were four ales on when we visited – Hetty Brown HPA, Moonlit and Old English plus Settle Ernie’s Milk Stout – plus four real ciders. My half of the Moonlit was lovely and my other half enjoyed warming up over some mulled cider. Food comes in the form of pasties, rolls and the like and is sensibly priced.
I used to visit this pub every year after our traditional Boxing Day walk along the coastal path – a tradition that I’d not observed for about 15 years – so it was great to return this Christmas and find it as great as I remember it. This really is one of the UK’s top pubs and whilst it is far from simple to get here, perseverance will be well rewarded.

On 4th February 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2313 recommendations about 2313 pubs]

moby duck left this review about Square & Compass

A remote country pub, exposed to the elements but extremely cosy inside. It is of course well described below, we got there ten minutes before the midday opening time which proved fortunate as within twenty minutes people were queuing outside the door to get served, such is its popularity and this on a dreary and drizzly November day. There were a couple of beers from Hattie Browns, brewed locally in Swanage plus Powder keg IPA, dangerously nice at 6.0%. Well worth the trip out here but turn up early.

On 30th December 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1257 recommendations about 1245 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Square & Compass

Iconic, remote country pub in a splendid position overlooking the Jurassic Coast. Picture-book white-washed building, with the most traditional layout inside with the narrow entrance hall leading to the main serving hatch. There is a second hatch down the left-hand side corridor leading to a snug and small museum, and a slightly larger room can be found off to the right. Famed as both a cider and beer pub, there were many of the former and five of latter (including the connected Hattie Brown's Moonlight, £3.50). Difficult to get to, but absolutely worth the effort...

On 16th April 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 5639 recommendations about 5639 pubs]

View more reviews of Square & Compass (9)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Blackthorn _
Wareham, 8.43 miles, 2 hr 42 min walk (show)
Holton Heath, 10.94 miles, 3 hr 31 min walk (show)
Poole, 13.17 miles, 4 hr 14 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Square & Compass, Swanage
4th Feb 2019, 18:50
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
30th Dec 2018, 16:54
Review submitted by moby duck

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 05 October 2010 by hondo .
  • Function Room : No last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes - Hot pasties etc - last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Jukebox : No last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 18 October 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Micropub : No last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 07 August 2013 by Quinno _
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : No last updated 04 February 2019 by Pub SignMan
Opening Hours
SundayMidnight - 11pm
MondayMidnight - 11pm
TuesdayMidnight - 11pm
WednesdayMidnight - 11pm
ThursdayMidnight - 11pm
FridayMidnight - 11pm
SaturdayMidnight - 11pm
Hours according to Facebook page, please check before making a special visit
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