OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: April 28, 2020
Webpage updated: May 06, 2020

        

POSTAL SERVICE IN OLD PLYMOUTH, 1840 TO 1969

GENERAL POST OFFICE, WHIMPLE STREET

The General Post Office in Whimple Street, on the corner of that Street, facing Saint Andrew's Church, was erected by a company of shareholders in 1848 at a cost of 3,000.

It was designed by Mr O C Arthur after the style of the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, Italy.  Part was let as offices but the post office and post-masters residence was rented by the General Post Office for 75 years at 100 per annum. 

The Postmaster at that time was Mr Charles Markes (1789-1854), who had previously been assistant to Miss Mary Rivers (1737-1833).

In 1852 Royal Mail from London and Exeter arrived at Plymouth at 6.20am, while that from Bristol, the north of England, Wales and Ireland arrived at 1.15pm.  Mail from Tavistock and Launceston arrived at 10am while that from Cornwall, excluding Launceston, arrived at 11.15am.  Outgoing Mail for Bristol, the north of England, Wales and Ireland was despatched at 11.30am, followed at 1.45pm by Mail for Cornwall, excluding Launceston.  Letters for Tavistock and Launceston were despatched at 5pm and letters for Exeter and London at 6pm.  The post boxes were closed 30 minutes before each departure.  On certain days of each month foreign mails arrived and were despatched from Millbay Pier.

1878

The General Post Office in Whimple Street, Plymouth, was recorded in 1878 as a Money Order Office, a Savings Bank, and a Government Annuity and Insurance Office, open for business between the hours of 9am until 5pm, except on Saturdays, when it was open until 8pm.  Inland Revenue licences were also granted during that period.  It was not open for business on Sundays except for the collection of letters as detailed below.  The Postal Telegraph Office was open continuously.  Mr J B Ellen was the Postmaster.

There were in 1878 four deliveries of letters on Mondays to Saturdays: 7am, 11.30am, 5.20pm and 8.15pm.  On Sundays letters could be collected from the Post Office counter between 7am and 10am.  Royal Mail was despatched to London at 8.20am, 10.20am, 2pm and 7.30pm and to Devonport at 4.30am, 6am, 11.15am, 2.45pm, and 7.25pm.  Royal Mails for Tavistock were despatched at 5am, 10.45am (which included Launceston), and 5.25pm.  Country posts were despatched at 6am.

The General Post Office in Whimple Street oversaw several Branch Post offices in the Town.  They were often known as "Receiving Office" although they were also Money Order Offices, Savings Banks and Telegraph Offices. These were The Exchange Branch Post Office in Woolster Street; the Cecil Street Branch Post Office; the Hastings Terrace Branch Post Office; the North Hill Branch Post Office and the Union Street Branch Post office.

It was subsequently replaced by the General Post Office in Westwell Street.