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10 historic pubs in Essex perfect for a pint

PUBLISHED: 10:28 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:56 16 January 2018

'Old Siege House', Peter Broster, Flickr CC 2.0

'Old Siege House', Peter Broster, Flickr CC 2.0

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We all love a good old pub. Full of character and history there is no better place to sit back and enjoy a drink. Here are 10 of our favourite historical pubs

1. The Chapel Inn, Coggeshall

The Chapel Inn takes its name from being built on the site of an old Chapel around 1256, although records show that it didn’t become a legally licensed establishment until 1556. Today, it is the oldest licensed pub in the town quenching thirsts with traditional beers and embracing its authentic, old fashioned pub atmosphere. The Chapel serves traditional English pub food but also has separate ‘pizza’ and ‘Chef’s special’ menus. If you’re a fan of ale, then you’ll love the cask ale in The Chapel – it’s all brewed locally by the Red Fox Brewery, just down the road from the pub!

2. The Crown, Colchester

The Crown in Colchester is a traditional country pub with a bucolic charm and homely décor. It’s claimed that the pub actually dates back to the 1500’s and was where loyalist supporter John Wenlock was dragged to by Parliamentary soldiers during the siege of Colchester. Guests can tuck into the hearty, wholesome pub classics from the menu or just sit back and enjoy a pint of cask ale admiring the resplendent backdrops that the pub enjoys.

3. The Sun Inn, Dedham

Tucked away in the heart of Dedham, The Sun Inn has been serving refreshment to the village for centuries. Its décor is that of a typical coaching house with an elm bar, thick wooden beams and timber panels. Both the lounge and the dining room are home to open log fires creating a cosy, welcoming atmosphere. The food on offer is truly a delight, with the seasonal menu using only locally sourced and grown food such as rare game meats, fresh breads and locally grown fruit and veg. There is an extensive variety of beers and wines available, and like the food all of these are locally sourced from local brewers such as Calvors, Crouch Vale and Adnams Brewers.

4. The Purple Dog, Colchester

The Purple Dog is one of the oldest pubs in Colchester and dates back to around 1647. It was originally called The Joiners Arms to represent the type of tradesmen who frequented the establishment, however in 1882 in was renamed The Clarence in honour of The Duke of Clarence (AKA King William IV). It kept this name until 2006 when it was rebranded and rechristened as The Purple Dog. Today it serves a fantastic assortment of award winning ales and craft beers such as Dead Pony Club and Oscar Wilde. The menu keeps it simple with classic, wholesome homemade food that everyone can enjoy.

5. The Old Siege House, Colchester

Built in the late 15th Century The Old Siege House has been witness to many historic events down the years, including the siege of Colchester in 1648. Evidence of this can still be found on the timber frames of the building where you can supposedly see bullet holes left over from the fighting. Guests will love the intimate atmosphere whether they’re dining with friends, enjoying a quiet drink, or listening to music from the occasional live band. The food served is a unique combination of modern European and English classics that are perfect for a light lunch or an evening meal.

6. The Bull & Willow, Maldon

The Bull & Willow in Great Totham is set in a stunning 16th century coaching inn, and takes its name from the ancient willow that sits in its garden. Surrounded by idyllic rural scenery, it’s perfect for a quiet drink or a relaxed evening meal with a delightful seasonal menu sourcing the very best local ingredients. Their bar serves a selection of the world’s most famous wines as well as beers and ales that compliment the hearty and robust foods perfectly.

7. The Woolpack Inn, Coggeshall

The Woolpack Inn is a real ale pub in Coggeshall that has been serving the local community since 1867. They stock an impressive assortment of ales and ciders, bottled beers and draft kegs, many from local breweries but also a few favourites from further a field. They are well known for hosting numerous events from summer beer festivals to Irish and Jazz nights, Northern Soul charity nights and pub quizzes. Dining at the Woolpack is standard pub fare with classics such as fish and chips or jacket potato. For something a bit special they also stock their specialty sausages, sourced from local butchers they’re perfect for sausage and mash.

8. Marlborough Head Inn, Dedham

Set in the very heart of Constable Country on Dedham High Street, The Marlborough Head Inn couldn’t ask for a better location. The idyllic 16th Century country house boats a traditional pub atmosphere with a warm and friendly character. The fresh, well priced food and the quality real ales with a weekly changing guest ale makes The Marlborough Head popular with both locals and visitors alike.

9. The Farmhouse Inn, Thaxted

The Farmhouse Inn, built in the 16th Century overlooks the Chelmer Valley and some of the most resplendent countryside scenery that Essex has to offer. Tucked away in the peaceful hamlet of Monk Street not far from Thaxted it’s the ideal location for a relaxing stroll to admire the 14th Century church and windmill before stopping off for a drink. The ancient farmhouse has an exceptional bar that is consistently mentioned in CAMRAS Good Pub Guide serving fine cask and guest ales and excellent beers.

10. Eight Bells, Saffron Walden

This beloved local pub nestled away in the heart of Saffron Walden is a favourite amongst locals for its delicious home-cooked food and warm, friendly atmosphere. Using only the best quality locally sourced ingredients from across Essex, the menu is honest and unpretentious filled with wonderful British classics and a few modern favourites. They stock a fantastic selection of real ales sourced from around the country as well as premium lagers, beer and wine.

If you love a good pub then here are 10 more cosy country gastro pubs for you to enjoy!

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