National Trust properties are plentiful across Cornwall. There are some incredible NT places to visit, like Glendurgan Garden, Trengwainton Garden and Cotehele. But there’s only one first: Tintagel Old Post Office.
These days, the number of post offices in the UK is decreasing. But in years gone by, they were everywhere. So in 1903, when Tintagel Old Post Office became the National Trust’s first built property in Cornwall, this industry was still booming. For a fascinating slice of our past, the historic post office in Tintagel’s Fore Street is a must-visit.
The post office sits in a unique and atmospheric medieval stone building that’s enhanced by a quaint cottage garden. Built in the 14th century as a yeoman’s farmhouse, it boasts an eye-catching wavy slate roof that covers more than 600 years of history underneath. It wasn’t actually a post office for long as it only briefly held a licence to be the letter-receiving station for the entire district during the Victorian period. And the National Trust has done a great job in restoring it to the condition it was in during this era.
A plethora of historical items and exhibits await visitors. Victorian postal equipment abounds, as well as furniture and samplers that date back to the 16th century. The highlight has to be the post room, which has been furnished just like the old letter-receiving office and contains postal and telegraph equipment, as well as an ultra-rare Victorian post box on the exterior wall outside. Also explore the parlour with its fireplace and large stone lintel, the hall with its Victorian clay bread oven and two bedrooms with their sleeping platform and ornate oak bed.
The garden outside also needs a visit. Aside from the flora and fauna, there’s a collection of games to keep the little ones occupied like noughts and crosses, plus they can also dress up in the Victorian era replica costumes for a more authentic experience. Pre-booking is required at Tintagel Old Post Office and National Trust members go for free. If old post offices, medieval buildings and the Victorian period are your postbag, then visit this National Trust treasure during your journey around historical Tintagel.