The Compasses in Littley Green

Compasses Inn Ridleys
Compasses Inn Ridleys
Compasses Inn in Littley Green

The Compasses in Littley Green is run by an old Essex brewing family, the Ridleys. It was formally the Ridley’s Brewery Tap. Joss Ridley is the landlord and his brother, Nelion Ridley, runs the local Bishop Nick brewery. Ridley’s Rite Bitter is the main beer, along with with Heresy and 1555.

Food is served at lunch and in the evening – they have giant huffers (big rolls). There is a large garden to the side and the rear.

The Compasses won CAMRA “Local Pub of the Year – Winner 2012”.

One the 3rd Monday evening of every month they have live folk music, which usually starts at around 8pm.

  • The Compasses Inn
  • Littley Green
  • Chelmsford
  • Essex
  • CM3 1BU
  • Tel: 01245 362308
  • email: [email protected]

History of Ridleys Brewery

TD Ridleys & Sons. were brewing beer in Essex from around 1841 when Thomas Dixon Ridley built a brewery about a mile from the Compasses Inn. The Ridleys were originally millers, but Thomas Ridley married Lydia Wells, who came from a brewing family in Chelmsford.

Ridleys was a very popular Essex ale in the 1980’s. The most popular beers were Ridley’s bitter and Ridley’s mild, and later Ridleys IPA.

In 2005 the Ridley family sold their brewing business and 73 pubs, one of which was the Compasses, to the Suffolk brewer, Green King. Green King stopped brewing Ridley’s beers but now own the brand.

The New Ridley’s

However, later Green King sold the Compasses and Joss Ridley bought it in March 2008. Nelion Ridley started brewing in 2011 and founded Bishop’s Nick brewery.

The brewery is named after their ancestor, Bishop Nicholas Ridley, who was burnt at the stake in 1555 for standing up for when he believed in,. This event has inspired the name of the brewery and its beers – 1555, Heresy and Ridley’s Rite.

  • Ridley’s Rite (3.6%) is a session bitter made from English Fuggles and Goldings.
  • Heresy (4.0%) – “Heresy is the holy grail of golden ale” made from pale ale malt and Challenger and Goldings hops.
  • 1555 (4.3%) is a full bodied ale with a sweet nutty taste made with Styrian goldings.



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