Victorian London - Communications - Post - General Post Office 

from The Illustrated London News, 1843

The General Post Office. - This magnificent pile, situate in St. Martins-le-Grand, was commenced in 1825, from designs by R. Smirke, Esq., and completed in 1829. It is of the Grecian Ionic order ; the basement is of granite, but the super-structure is of brick, entirely faced with Portland stone. It is 400 feet in length and 80 feet in depth ; in the centre of the front is a portico 70 feet in breadth and 20 in length. Here is the head of this vast establishment; but there are four branch offices, - at Lombard Street; Charing Cross; Cavendish Street, Oxford Street; and 266. Borough High Street. The receiving houses of this department have been, by a recent regulation, consolidated with those of the Twopenny Post Office. This, notwithstanding the recent regulation, still continues here a separate department of the establishment. On the foreign post nights, namely, Tuesday and Friday, foreign letters are received at the branch offices until 8 o'clock, amid at this establishment until 11. Letters for any part of the United Kingdom can be received here till 6 o'clock ; and after that time until ½ past 7, on paying sixpence with each letter.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844 

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from The Illustrated London News, 1846

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see also Andrew Wynter in Our Social Bees - click here

General Post Office, St. Martin’s-le-Grand, E.C.—Hours 10 to 4. Subdivided into Secretary’s Office; Medical Department; Solicitors’, Surveyors’, Telegraph, and Engineering Departments; Receiver and Accountant General’s Office; Money Order Office; Savings’ Bank Department; Circulation Department, with further subdivisions’ and Returned Letter Office. Admission to view the interior working of the department can be obtained only by permission of the post-office authorities who, on account of the obstruction to public business, are somewhat chary of according it. NEAREST Railway Stations, Holborn Viaduct, Aldersgate, and Mansion House (Dist.); Omnibus Routes, Aldersgate-st, Cheapside, and Moorgate-street; Cab Rank, Opposite. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

POST OFFICE ... ST. MARTIN'S-LE-GRAND. A building in the Ionic order of architecture, erected by Sir. R. Smirke, in 1829. This proving too small for the greatly increased business of the Post Office, extensive additional buildings have been erected on the opposite side of the street for the accommodation of the Telegraph Department.

Reynolds' Shilling Coloured Map of London, 1895

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - St. Martin's-le-Grand : General View of the Post Office Buildings

St. Martin's-le-Grand : General View of the Post
Office Buildings - photograph


On either side of St. Martin's-le-Grand are the buildings of the General Post Office. That to the left, one side of which abuts upon Newgate Street, was built in the early seventies, at a cost of nearly half a million, to contain the Administration Offices and the Telegraph Department but this enormous place has been for some time outgrown, and beyond it will be noticed the General Post Office North (finished in 1894) erected from the designs of Tanner, in the classic style for the accommodation of the Central Savings Bank, and of the Postmaster-General and other high officials of this important State department. The site alone of the new structure cost £326,000. The Head Post Office itself is the building with Ionic pillars on the right of our picture