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Picture of The Compasses Inn
Image posted by Aqualung .
Submitted on Sunday, 18th May 2014
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The Compasses Inn, Littley Green, Chelmsford

Littley Green
Phone: 01245362308
Correct details

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Reviews of The Compasses Inn (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Compasses Inn

This remote village pub, found down the narrow lanes of rural Essex, provides a focal point not just for the little hamlet it’s situated in, but for discerning pub-goers from far and wide. The pub has a very traditional three-room layout with the main bar area in the centre and a couple of seating areas either side. The bar area has the servery along the rear wall and some very limited bench seating opposite against the front wall, although that didn’t stop most customers packing this area, mostly standing at the bar generating a good atmosphere in the process. The bar has a bit of an old-fashioned village shop feel to it, as the bar back is well stocked with various jars of sweets and soft drinks, each with their prices written on a label above. To the left, there’s a partially screened space that acts as an extension to the bar area, with tile flooring and plenty of bench and chair seating. The walls are decorated with old black and white photos, various bits which detail how the pub was once considered to be the Ridley’s Brewery taphouse, a dartboard, several CAMRA certificates and an upright piano. There’s also a window here that allows you a sneak peak into the taproom. Meanwhile, over to the right of the pub, there is a bare boarded room with high backed settles around all four walls, serving four tables that are ideal for those hoping to have a meal here. More old photos and certificates are on show here and some framed bar towels add a splash of colour whilst the beams have been used to display a good collection of cups, mugs, tankards, jugs and the like. A tidy beer garden was visible to one side of the pub, but the relentless rain meant I only caught a brief glimpse as I dashed inside.
The Ridley’s name lives on through the Bishop Nick Brewery and two of their beers were available on cask – Ridley’s Rite and Martyr – along with guests in the shape of Crouch Vale Essex Boys and Fat Cat Coffee Cream Stout. A remarkable nine cider and perry options were also listed and my pint of the Ridley’s Rite was in very good shape at £3.60 a pint. We decided to eat here, as the food we saw coming out looked great and I enjoyed a particularly good chicken curry that set me up for the rest of the day.
This is an excellent pub that should be on the radar of anyone interested in visiting unspoiled, historic rural pubs. The food and beer were both spot-on as far as I was concerned, and the lively main bar area suggests a good session could be enjoyed here among friendly, welcoming company. It’s a pain to get to, but the effort will be well rewarded.

On 11th November 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2402 recommendations about 2402 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Compasses Inn

The Compasses is now under completely free ownership. The former Ridley's brewery tap was always one of their best classic country pubs. Many of these were closed by Ridley's long before Greene King came along and continued the process. Littley Green is a tiny place in the heart of the Essex countryside just under 10 miles North of Chelmsford town centre. It is situated in the Ridley's "Golden Triangle". This was formed by the roads linking the Walthams, Great Dunmow and Braintree. Inside it and just off it there were loads of Ridley's pubs. There is an infrequent bus service that will take you from Chelmsford Bus Station to the old brewery at Hartford End about a mile away. Alternatively there is an hourly bus between Chelmsford and Stansted Airport that follows the main road to Great Dunmow about two miles away.
Externally the pub is just as I remembered it from many visits in the past. The Ridley's signage remains in place as a great way of sticking two fingers up at Greene King. There are even old Ridley's Ash trays on the tables at the front of the pub. There is a decent sized proper pub garden on the left and some new B&B facilities have been built on the right.
Inside it is a classic country pub with a tiled floor, benches, chairs, tables and a fireplace. Above the fireplace there are numerous CAMRA award certificates. On either side are two rooms with tables and chairs. The left room used to have a very old Jukebox in Ridley days but there is just a piano and dartboard now. The only major change has been to the cellar, which used to be a small room at the back with a few casks. This has been replaced by a proper temperature controlled cellar which you can look into via a porthole from the central room. I spotted eight casks sitting on a modern stillage. The beers are served straight from these casks into lined glasses.
The owner is a member of the Ridley family and they invariably stock at least one beer brewed by his brother at the Bishop Nick brewery.
Five beers are normally served at weekends and today they had Bishop's Nick Ridley's Rite, Wibbler's Dengie Dark, Green Jack Golden Best, Farmer's Nelson's Blood and Adnam's Mayday. All were £3.40 apart from the Mayday which was £3.70. All beers tried were in great condition and the Ridley's Rite turned out to be a copy of the Ridley's IPA of old. There were also six ciders all at £3.70. Two were from a producer I'd never heard of called Glebe Farm. I subsequently discovered that they are based in Huntingdon of all places. I went for their Strawberry cider which looked odd as it was still, cloudy and shocking pink in colour. It was delicious as was their medium cider.
on a warm May Saturday the place soon filled up with cyclists, walkers and locals, most of them opting for the garden. For as long as I've been coming here they have been doing Huffers. This is an enormous bread roll which originally was offered with cheese or ham fillings with salad and pickle, but now has a list of around fifteen different offerings priced from four or five quid up to just under a tenner. I had the Brie, Bacon and Cranberry variety which was filling and delicious. They also do a small selection of pub grub type offerings.
This is one of my all time favourite pubs and would feature in any list of the best UK pubs that I had a say in.

On 18th May 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2147 recommendations about 2142 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john mcgraw left this review about The Compasses Inn

Used to get it's beer from the brewery down the road (see pic) no doubt it now gets it from Bury St Edmunds!

On 16th October 2007 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2040 recommendations about 2021 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Old Blue
Cressing, 6.15 miles, 1 hr 58 min walk (show)
Braintree, 6.32 miles, 2 hr 2 min walk (show)
Braintree Freeport, 7.21 miles, 2 hr 19 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Compasses Inn, Chelmsford
11th Nov 2019, 18:17
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
30th Sep 2015, 15:29
Picture submitted by john mcgraw approved

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 : Yes last updated 10 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Darts : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Function Room : No last updated 11 November 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Jukebox : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Karaoke : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Live Music : Yes - Occasional folk - last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Micropub : No last updated 11 November 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Pool Table : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Wheelchair Access : No last updated 18 May 2014 by Aqualung .
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 11 November 2019 by Pub SignMan
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