The 14th century yeoman’s farmhouse, of local brown slate, first attracts with its intriguing wavy roof. This wave is caused by the weight of the slate roof on the supporting rafters. The early history of the building’s ownership is not known, but it is thought to have been a small manor house. Its current name comes from the fact that it was a collection place for mail in the early 1800s with the post office renting one room of the house from the current owner at the time. The post office ceased its operation at the house when the owner sold it in 1892.
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Fortunately the Old Post Office survived the onslaught of demolition (called modernization at the time) happening to other buildings in the village. It was purchased with, and repaired by, funds raised by a group of artists, Catherine Johns being the ringleader.
The house is furnished with items collected from various cottages and farmhouses in the general area. Although not original to the house, they are authentic. Furniture is mostly of oak.
A porch leads into the home’s entrance passage. This passage goes straight through the house to the garden at the back. The back garden is on two levels. The original well for the house is still in place.
To the left of the entrance passage the first room is the hall which is open to the roof. A fireplace and oven are on one wall, with a large slate overmantel. A lacquer clock dates from the 1750s. To reach the post room it is necessary to go through the hall. In the post room is another fireplace with an oven. The room is furnished as it would have been when used for that purpose.
To the right of the hall is the parlour. This room may have served as the kitchen at one time as there is an oven connected on the left of the fireplace. A late 18th century Bossiney Borough tea service and glassware is shown in the dresser in this room. Also in the room are a longcase clock dating from 1830, Windsor chairs, and four samplers dating from 1768-1837.
In one corner of the hall is a spiral staircase leading up to a bedroom. The bedroom has a two light window thought to date from the early 1500s. The oak bed has a feather mattress lying on criss-crossed ropes. There are four samplers in the room dating from 1813-1834.
Stairs lead from the parlour to another upstairs bedroom. In the room is iron bedstead and oak and pine furniture. Three more samplers are located in this room. A ladder like slate stair set into the wall goes to a gallery that looks over the hall. It may have been at one time an extra small bedroom.
Tintagel Old Post Office
Fore St, Tintagel village, Cornwall
Tel. 0 1840 770 024
Open: daily, mid Feb-end Oct but closed first 2 weeks March; in Feb, March and Oct, open 11am-4pm; in April and May, 10.30am-5pm; in June-Sep, open 10.30am-5.30pm
National Trust property; small shop; use village car park (fee charged)
Photo of exterior © by Barbara Ballard
Photos of front with post box, garden, and back view with stair turret by Chris Lacey courtesy National Trust
Photos of north bedroom, fireplace, and parlour by Andreas von Einsiedel courtesy National Trust
Photo of bedroom chest courtesy National Trust