Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 05627 88467


TINTAGEL TINTAGEL SX 08 NE 4/180 The Old Post Office 19.1.52 GV I

Manor house or steward's house, later post office and now the property of the National Trust and open to public. Probably C15, repaired in 1896 by Detmar Blow and restored in 1971. Local slate stone rubble. Rag slate roof with gable ends with lower roof over inner room on left. Stone rubble stacks on gable ends, both with cloam oven projections. Projecting front lateral hall stack with cloam oven projection. The stacks were rebuilt in the early C20. The original plan of the building was possibly that of a 2-room and through passage; the 3 bay hall on the left has possible evidence of smoke-blackening on the principals, the collars having been partly replaced. It is therefore possible that the hall was heated by an open hearth although the scanty evidence of sooting prevents an estimation of the position of the hearth. The hall was probably divided from the passage by a low screen which has subsequently been removed. On the lower side of the passage the stone rubble cross wall continues up to the apex. The 2-bay lower room was possibly originally unheated and floored with a chamber above; the original position of the stair is uncertain. Unless the hall originally had a stack the early-mid C16 improvements involved the insertion of a front lateral stack with a possibly coeval and integral single storey hall bay on its higher left hand side. Probably slightly later a 2-bay inner room was added to the higher side of the hall, heated by a gable end stack; the first floor chamber above was approached via a turreted stair, added in a semi-circular projection to the rear of the higher side of the hall. The gabled 2-storey bay projection at the front of the inner room was probably added in the late C16 or early C17. Possibly sometime in the C17 a fireplace was inserted in the lower room which became a kitchen. In circa C19 a stone-rubble cross wall was inserted at the higher side of the passage, probably replacing a hall screen and a small chamber was inserted above the passage; this chamber was subsequently remodelled to form a gallery, probably in the early C20. In 1844 a Letter Receiving Office was set up and the building served as the village post office for nearly 50 years. In 1892 the building was to be sold for redevelopment and in 1895 was put up for auction. The Old Post Office was bought by Catherine Johns and in 1896 was repaired by Detmar Blow, according to the principals laid down by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; the money having been raised with the sale of pictures by a group of local artists. In 1900 the National Trust agreed to buy the building for a nominal £100, raised by public appeal. 1 and 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 2 window front with front lateral hall stack to left of centre and inner room on left with slightly lower roof. Gabled stone rubble porch with roughly chamfered segmental arch. To right, the lower side has a narrow single light greenstone window lighting the stair to the first floor chamber and a 2-light casement lighting the lower room. A 2-light casement lights the chamber above. To the left of the entrance a single-storey hall bay, lit by a C20 2-light casement, adjoins the front lateral hall stack with its cloam oven projection. The inner room to left has a 2-storey gabled bay projection with a 2-light casement lighting the inner room and a slightly hollow chamfered 2-light granite mullion window lighting the first floor chamber. To the left of this bay is a low single storey outshot with possibly inserted separate entrance to the inner room which may date from the 1840s when the room became the Letter Receiving Office for the General Post Office. Left hand gable end of inner room with cloam oven projection to stack and 2-light narrow greenstone window lighting recess adjoining fireplace. 2-light casement on first floor. The gable end has been partly rebuilt, probably in the 1970s and has a row of pigeon holes. The semi-circular stair turret on the rear elevation is lit by 2 narrow single light greenstone windows. Interior : entrance with circa C17 oak door frame with cyma reversa moulded lintel and jambs with stepped hollow stops. Circa C19 door of 3 planks with raised moulded rim and chamfered ledges. Slate flag floors throughout. Lower end. Circa C16 shouldered oak door frame in lower side of passage, the right hand jamb altered when the entrance was widened. Secondary partitions have been inserted into the lower room to accommodate a probably C19 stair. Large unmoulded slate lintel to fireplace in gable end. The floor joists are roughly cut with 1 axial beam and slightly chamfered cross beams with run-out stops. The first floor is heated by a small fireplace with a slate arched lintel. 2 bay roof structure which appears to be clean. The raised cruck truss has curved feet and the collar is cranked and morticed into the principals. The apex is partly obscured by a secondary truss which has been inserted to provide extra support. However, the principals appear to be halved, lapped and pegged and carry a diagonal ridge. 2 tiers of threaded purlins. The common rafters have been replaced on the rear slope. Hall is partitioned from the passage by an inserted stone rubble cross wall which continues up to first floor level. Above the passage is a narrow chamber, lit by a narrow 1-light greenstone window. The chamber was probably inserted and converted to form a gallery in the early C20. The 3-bay open hall is flanked by cross walls which continue up to the apex on the lower side of the passage and on the higher side of the hall. Heated by a possibly inserted front lateral stack with slate fireplace lintel supported on 2 large slate corbels. Stack cement rendered internally in late C20. Chimney bar, cloam oven and grate with spit and hobs. Slate cill above fireplace lintel. The hall bay adjoining the fireplace is lit by a narrow 1-light greenstone window in the side wall and a renewed 2-light casement on the front. A small blocked opening is visible on the higher side of the projection. The 3-bay roof structure above the hall appears to indicate evidence of soot-deposit on the principals in spite of the 2 raised cruck trusses having been partly restored and also having some remains of dark stain. The feet of the principals are curved and the cranked collars are morticed into the principals. The joint at the apices is particularly interesting and unusual; the principals are apparently stepped and abutted with no visible indication of a mortice or lap-joint. It was not possible to see whether they were held in place by a slip-tenon, by means of face pegging or that the mortice was obscured although a mortice and tenon would seem to be the most likely joint. Threaded diagonal ridge, 2-tiers of threaded purlins and common rafters partly replaced. Inner room; probably added in circa late C16 although the evidence of straight joints on the front and rear walls are obscured and the cross wall between the hall and inner room is not very thick. The ground floor room has roughly cut ceiling beams and an unchamfered lintel to the fireplace. A slate winder stair in a semi-circular stair turret to the rear of the higher side of the hall provided access to the first floor chamber. 2-bay roof structure which appears to be clean although has some evidence of dark staining. The raised cruck truss has curved feet and the cranked collar is morticed into the principals. The principals are halved, lap-jointed and pegged at the apex and carry a diagonal ridge. 2 tiers of treaded purlins. A secondary truss of similar construction provides additional support. The Old Post Office is a particularly interesting and for Cornwall a rare survival of a hall house with a most picturesque exterior. Chesher, V. M. and F. J. The Cornishman's House 1968 Trinick, M The Old Post Office, Tintagel 1985

Listing NGR: SX0562788467


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Chesher, V M, F J , , The Cornishmans House, (1968)
Trinick, M , The Old Post Office Tintagel, (1985)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 27 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/00485/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ian G Stokes. Source Historic England Archive
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