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Lechlade Post Office

The Grade II listed building in the High Street we now know as the Post Office was built in the late 17th or early 18th century as a private two-storey house. It became a Post Office around the end of the 18th century, a little while after the first mail coach service from Bristol to London was established.
The Post Office appears to have been associated with other interests almost from the beginning. In 1867, James Mitchell was appointed Postmaster, but he was also listed as a carpenter, joiner and ironmonger and apparently also sold antiques. Later still he was an agent for the Alliance Shipping Line operating between Liverpool and Canada.

Lechlade Historical Society
c. 1912 Ė Post Office staff
During the early years of its existence the Post Office was open from 8.00am until 8.00pm, and until 10.00am on Sundays! There were two deliveries a day, and a letter posted in London in the morning would generally catch the second delivery in the afternoon. Although there were many staff it was not uncommon for them to have other employment in the town.

It was Charles 1 who opened up his personal Royal Mail to the public in 1635, and Oliver Cromwell who established the General Post Office in 1657. One canít help wondering about the future of the mail service under privatisation.

Lechlade Historical Society
1895 - James Mitchell talking to Joseph Bowley
Lechlade Historical Society
The exterior has changed little in three hundred years

(June 2009)

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