Historical information

Formerly of Station Works, Wakering Road, Barking, Essex, Henry Browne & Son were important British compass makers. The company was founded in the nineteenth century in Barking and London. They were respected English instrument makers who made fine quality compasses, ships clocks, inclinometers, sextants and chandlery items for over 140 years. Their "Dead Beat" compass, which was well dampened to reduce oscillation, was fitted to many Allied ships during the Second World War. Sestrel was their famous Trade Mark brand. The company was sold to John Lilley & Gillie Ltd and SIRS Navigation, both UK companies, in 1993.


Example of a hand held compass used in WWII

Physical description

A Sestrel hand held bearing compass with wooden handle in own glass fronted, wooden container.

Inscriptions & markings

Sestrel Henry Browne & Son Ltd Barking London