top of page
White BG.jpg

About The Compass Courtyard

We have renovated our farmyard to offer an inspirational space to re-engage with Nature, nourishing body and soul; and to share memorable experiences with friends. 

The Compass Courtyard is a live and ever-changing experience with every foot, paw or wheel that passes this way. It offers a café, artisan shops, creative courses, and an invitation to feel enriched by the beauty of the countryside. 

At The Compass Courtyard, you will find:
The Mixing Shed Café, The Loaf Tin Bakery, Willow and George clothing,
Spellbinder Video Production, Wightman Gallery and Pottery Studio, Julie’s Cooking Academy,
A G Fitness training, Lily Bay Beauty and The Granary co-working space.

We have also landscaped the peaceful compass courtyard space to enjoy, and have a public bridleway ‘the other side of the hedge’ that links local villages for walks.

We are surrounded by rolling farmland located in the corner of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, where ancient routes cross – Icknield Way, the Roman Road and the summer solstice line which shines through the South of England across East Anglia. We know that woolly mammoths walked this way in ancient times and pre Roman astrologers calculated longitude and latitude in Ancient Briton by the guidance of these solstice lines.

This land is our heritage and our legacy. 

Our artisan courtyard, nestled at the crossroads of history and innovation, invites you to experience a unique blend of community, culture, and connectivity.

We invite you to step this way, ‘Pause and Reboot’. 
(Paws are welcome too). 

White BG.jpg

The Compass

Symbolically, simplistically the Compass is our guide to paths as yet untrodden. The 4 compass points of North, East, South, West have long been associated with the 4 elements of Being – Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Many cultures add a fifth element to the mix – Space or Ether / Energy. Energy is what connects us and stirs the 4 elements of Being into Aliveness, and with this in mind we created the compass design.


Our inspiration started with a pendant, engraved with a compass, given to a daughter travelling in far off lands; then a meeting with a monk who walked from India to the States as a pilgrimage for Peace, who wrote of the interconnection between ‘Our Soil, Our Soul, Our Society’; and then we felt the passing of a yogi friend during Covid, whose teachings focussed on gratitude for the Beauty and abundant offerings of Mother Earth - she always acknowledged the 4 directions of the compass in her teachings.


In many indigenous cultures North, East, South, West are referenced in the context of the seasons and our health and wellbeing, which brings us back to the farming year – planting seeds, nurturing growth, nourishing ourselves and protecting the soil. In the centre of our compass we placed a grinding stone used for milling wheat for flour, as a symbol of ‘seed to sustenance’. We are making seating areas in each corner of the courtyard so that visitors are welcome to pause and enjoy this special space. 

Making The Compass Courtyard, Winter 2023
White BG.jpg

The Farm

The Duke family have been farming the land around the Compass Courtyard for 100 years. We have been growing food here for 4 generations, and we believe that respecting the land in which we live and work is key to its sustainability for future generations.


By using innovative farming methods and focussing on good soil health we can produce good quality food whilst reducing our carbon footprint, and improving biodiversity. We are the guardians of this muddy earth which is ideal for cereals such as wheat and barley, but also supports beans, peas, oilseeds, linseeds and sugarbeet. But just as important to us are the areas between the fields which act as a phenomenal biodiverse network of hedgerows, meadows, green lanes and ancient woodland. 

Working with the local Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and Essex Wildlife Trust for many years has enabled us to introduce many initiatives which includes a thriving Barn Owl project. As small local road verges are becoming increasingly destroyed by van and wider car use, we have been able to establish verges that are on the field side of the hedge, and we have been nurturing good thick hedge growth for lots of bird life to enjoy.


We have also been operating a policy of woodland regeneration for over 10 years, which has enabled us to plant thousands of small trees in areas protected by branches and brushwood. We truly believe that good habitats make for better lives for all beings, and are looking to expand our biodiversity programme as a work in progress.

bottom of page