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Old Post House Swineshead

The Post Office in 1961
The Post Office in 1961 [Z53/120/6]

The Old Post House was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1964 as Grade II, of special interest. It dates to the 16th century and is, like many of the older properties in the village, built of colour-washed plaster over a timber frame. It is built in a T-plan and gable end on to the road, often the indication of an old building. It comprises one storey with attics with a two storey cross wing.

Interestingly, none of the directories held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and containing Swineshead, dating from to 1877 to 1940 mention a post office in the village; although the photograph above, taken in 1961 and the description made when the property was listed in 1964 describe it as the Post Office. A 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of 1977 describes the house as The Old Post House. This indicates that the post office was post war and that it clearly did not survive for very long.

 The Old Post House May 2008
The Old Post House May 2008

In 1927 Swineshead was valued under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting The Old Post House [DV1/C151/8-10] noted that the owner, and the occupier of the main part of the house, was J.Nicholson. The house comprised three living rooms and a kitchen downstairs, with four bedrooms above. Outside was a wood, brick and thatch barn ("very dilapidated"), a hay store, a stable, a two bay hovel and a wood store ("all very poor and seldom used").

The cross wing to the south was occupied separately by J.Wagstaff at a rent of £5/10/- per annum. The dwelling consisted of a living room and kitchen downstairs with a bedroom above. Outside stood a barn measuring 7 feet by 22½ feet. The valuer remarked of the entire property: "good place, poor situation".