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55 High Street Southill

Southill Post Office 1960s
Southill Post Office 1960s [Z1130/106/6]

At the time of writing [2008] 55 High Street was the Village Post Office and store, although it was announced on 17th September 2008 that it would be one of a number of post offices in the county to close permanently. Teas are served and can be drunk in the garden in front of the shop. The building has been a post office since at least the mid 1960s, as a postcard produced then demonstrates. In the 1920s the Post Office had been at 34 High Street.

55 High Street was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest. A plaque outside notes SW 1815 - SW being Samuel Whitbread II who died in that year. The date probably indicates a reworking of an older cottage. The building is timber-framed and, like most of the village, has a colour-washed roughpcast render over the top of it.

55 High Street March 2008
55 High Street March 2008

In 1927 Southill was valued under the Rating 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 55 High Street [DV1/C124/31] noted that it was owned by the Whitbread Estate and tenanted by J.W.Merryweather. It stood in a quarter of an acre and was leased for £44/9/- per annum. Accommodation comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, scullery and dairy downstairs with three bedrooms above. The valuer commented: "1815" and "Slope up".