The door was open, and I couldn’t wait to go inside. Tintagel’s Old Post Office had been closed on previous trips to the enchanting village, full of whimsical shops and swash-buckling tales of King Arthur.

It was a fantastic start to our break away from the drama of moving (Mr Word Loft and I are still living in our bungalow).

National Trust staff greeted us, and the person behind the Post Room counter pointed out antique weighing scales and a telegram machine. They made an interesting combination beside his laptop, coincidentally highlighting the progression in communications.

It was as I admired faded letters, with deckle-edged stamps and other memorabilia in a display that I mentioned the Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society. I joined it a few months ago and the man behind the counter told me the Old Post Office had received a letter from them. He described how beautiful it was with its wax seal and fancy writing.

Outside the Post Room’s window is a Victorian wall letter box which was installed in 1971 during a restoration, although the mail-receiving office, only functioned as such for a short while in the 1870s.

The building has had a succession of uses and evolved from its three-room-hall house in the Medieval period to today’s series of spaces on two floors. Each century has seen add-ons giving the attraction a storybook appearance with its quaint chimney stacks, undulating slate roof, and small bricked annexes.

The parlour, entrance hall and bedrooms give an insight into the past inhabitants, such as shoemakers and drapers. It was also a farmhouse, the interior a stark contrast then to when a group of artists dwelled and raised funds for its upkeep later in the 1800s.

Delicately stitched embroidery samplers grace the walls. As well as letters, numbers and biblical texts, they also depict flowers and nature; maybe inspired by the Cornish cottage garden.

Pathways curve around a water well and lead to hidden corners of the grounds. Benches allow for a quiet spell to regard the scenery or to play a game of Tic-tac-toe with floral pieces set up amidst fragrant foliage. I took a deep breath of the Rosemary as it helps to alleviate headaches and mental fatigue with its refreshing green scent. With the move to our new house not going to plan, it seemed like a good idea and I think it helped clear my mind.

The Old Post Office must be one of the smallest National Trust properties, but a joy to see, and well worth a visit.

Until next time,
Sue. X