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Newbury Post Office

A Grade II Listed Building in Newbury, West Berkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4 / 51°24'0"N

Longitude: -1.3228 / 1°19'21"W

OS Eastings: 447209

OS Northings: 166994

OS Grid: SU472669

Mapcode National: GBR 81Z.2F0

Mapcode Global: VHCZK.122K

Entry Name: Newbury Post Office

Listing Date: 11 September 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392756

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504933

Location: Newbury, West Berkshire, RG14

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Newbury

Built-Up Area: Newbury

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Newbury St Nicolas

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text


65/0/10015 CHEAP STREET
11-SEP-08 39
Newbury Post Office

GV II
Post Office, 1895-6. Designed by the Board of Works under the supervision of the Government Clerk of Works, Mr J Askew. Builder, Mr W Goodchild of Reading. Additional modifications and rear extensions of C20 date.

MATERIALS: Red brick in both Flemish bond and stretcher bond, applied half-timbering, stone dressings, tiled roofs.

EXTERIOR: A three storey building with a pitched tiled roof. Principal elevation to the west, onto Cheap Street, of three bays with a wider, slightly projecting central bay with a gabled second floor flanked by two hipped dormers. Central gable decorated in applied half-timbering with a canted bay window to the second floor supported on timber brackets. The half-timbering continues to either side as a narrow band under the eaves. Stone capped parapets to the roof to north and south and two chimney stacks. First floor: transom and mullion windows of two, four and two lights respectively. Stone string-courses separate the floors, that between the ground and first floor is more decorative having foliate modillions. Ground floor: central, large round-arched window with a moulded drip-stone and square foliate panels, all of which are different. Stone plaque above identifies the building as the 'POST OFFICE'. Two-light window to the north and main entrance to the south. Both have segmental pediments decorated with a carved crown flanked by the letters 'V' and 'R' for 'Victoria Regina'. Modern access ramp in brick with metal and adjoining modern brick wall to the north, into which are inserted the post boxes, are not of special interest. Accretive additions to the rear are also not of special interest. South elevation not visible other than at second floor level because of the adjoining building. North elevation is plain other than stepped eaves with stone details, stone capped parapet and stone bands to chimney stack. Rear (east) elevation partly hidden by the adjoining buildings but has a wide dormer to the second floor, lit by four windows, and at first floor level a sash window and a glazed corridor linking this building to those to the east.

INTERIOR: Main entrance opens into small lobby with wooden wall plaque in remembrance of employees who fell in the first and second world wars. Post office service area much altered and extended beyond the end east wall of the Victorian building. Coved ceiling cannot be original given its extent (it continues beyond the rear wall of the Victorian building) and there are traces of a former latitudinal internal wall, possibly marking the end of the original service area. Offices and sorting areas to the east lie within the lesser rear buildings (which are not of special interest). Single staircase leading to upper floors. That between the first and second floors may be the original staircase but has been clad, hiding any Victorian features or materials. Modernised upper offices are largely devoid of original features.

HISTORY: The oldest part of Newbury Post Office is that fronting Cheap Street. This dates to 1895-6 and was designed by the Board of Works under the supervision of the Government Clerk of Works, Mr J Askew (who also supervised the construction of Reading Post Office in 1897), and built by Mr W Goodchild of Reading. The Newbury Weekly News of 26 November 1896 described the building in some detail providing useful information on the context and origins of the project as well as the internal accommodation. From this it is known that the main service area was on the ground floor and was a 'handsome and lofty apartment' 28 feet by 30 feet in dimensions with a sorting office behind it, as well as waiting rooms and a long connecting corridor. Yorkshire ranges were provided for staff cooking. There was a caretaker's flat on the second floor which had 'a large sitting room, a couple of bedrooms, commanding extensive views, pantry, kitchen with a Yorkshire range, scullery with copper and water laid on, and most efficient lavatory accommodation.' The first floor housed the Postmaster's office with speaking tubes connecting his office to other parts of the building, an instrument room and private 'retiring rooms' for the lady clerks.

The total build cost, including the adjoining buildings to the rear, was between £5,000 and £6,000. Building work commenced in the summer of 1895 and the foundation stone was laid in November of the same year. Originally there was the street facing building and further accommodation stretching back to the rear. An extension of circa 1929, erected by Hoskings & Pond, included a Telephone Exchange. Further extensions were added in the mid and late C20.

SOURCE: Newbury Weekly News, 26 November 1896

REASON FOR DESIGNATION:
Newbury Post Office is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Of special architectural interest for its impressive façade with crisp, good-quality stone decorative details such as foliate bosses, initials and crowns
* Of high townscape interest, it groups with the adjoining listed house at 41 Cheap Street.

SU4720966993

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Description


65/0/10015 CHEAP STREET
11-SEP-08 39
Newbury Post Office

GV II
Post Office, 1895-6. Designed by the Board of Works under the supervision of the Government Clerk of Works, Mr J Askew. Builder, Mr W Goodchild of Reading. Additional modifications and rear extensions of C20 date.

MATERIALS: Red brick in both Flemish bond and stretcher bond, applied half-timbering, stone dressings, tiled roofs.

EXTERIOR: A three storey building with a pitched tiled roof. Principal elevation to the west, onto Cheap Street, of three bays with a wider, slightly projecting central bay with a gabled second floor flanked by two hipped dormers. Central gable decorated in applied half-timbering with a canted bay window to the second floor supported on timber brackets. The half-timbering continues to either side as a narrow band under the eaves. Stone capped parapets to the roof to north and south and two chimney stacks. First floor: transom and mullion windows of two, four and two lights respectively. Stone string-courses separate the floors, that between the ground and first floor is more decorative having foliate modillions. Ground floor: central, large round-arched window with a moulded drip-stone and square foliate panels, all of which are different. Stone plaque above identifies the building as the 'POST OFFICE'. Two-light window to the north and main entrance to the south. Both have segmental pediments decorated with a carved crown flanked by the letters 'V' and 'R' for 'Victoria Regina'. Modern access ramp in brick with metal and adjoining modern brick wall to the north, into which are inserted the post boxes, are not of special interest. Accretive additions to the rear are also not of special interest. South elevation not visible other than at second floor level because of the adjoining building. North elevation is plain other than stepped eaves with stone details, stone capped parapet and stone bands to chimney stack. Rear (east) elevation partly hidden by the adjoining buildings but has a wide dormer to the second floor, lit by four windows, and at first floor level a sash window and a glazed corridor linking this building to those to the east.

INTERIOR: Main entrance opens into small lobby with wooden wall plaque in remembrance of employees who fell in the first and second world wars. Post office service area much altered and extended beyond the end east wall of the Victorian building. Coved ceiling cannot be original given its extent (it continues beyond the rear wall of the Victorian building) and there are traces of a former latitudinal internal wall, possibly marking the end of the original service area. Offices and sorting areas to the east lie within the lesser rear buildings (which are not of special interest). Single staircase leading to upper floors. That between the first and second floors may be the original staircase but has been clad, hiding any Victorian features or materials. Modernised upper offices are largely devoid of original features.

HISTORY: The oldest part of Newbury Post Office is that fronting Cheap Street. This dates to 1895-6 and was designed by the Board of Works under the supervision of the Government Clerk of Works, Mr J Askew (who also supervised the construction of Reading Post Office in 1897), and built by Mr W Goodchild of Reading. The Newbury Weekly News of 26 November 1896 described the building in some detail providing useful information on the context and origins of the project as well as the internal accommodation. From this it is known that the main service area was on the ground floor and was a 'handsome and lofty apartment' 28 feet by 30 feet in dimensions with a sorting office behind it, as well as waiting rooms and a long connecting corridor. Yorkshire ranges were provided for staff cooking. There was a caretaker's flat on the second floor which had 'a large sitting room, a couple of bedrooms, commanding extensive views, pantry, kitchen with a Yorkshire range, scullery with copper and water laid on, and most efficient lavatory accommodation.' The first floor housed the Postmaster's office with speaking tubes connecting his office to other parts of the building, an instrument room and private 'retiring rooms' for the lady clerks.

The total build cost, including the adjoining buildings to the rear, was between £5,000 and £6,000. Building work commenced in the summer of 1895 and the foundation stone was laid in November of the same year. Originally there was the street facing building and further accommodation stretching back to the rear. An extension of circa 1929, erected by Hoskings & Pond, included a Telephone Exchange. Further extensions were added in the mid and late C20.

SOURCE: Newbury Weekly News, 26 November 1896

REASON FOR DESIGNATION:
Newbury Post Office is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Of special architectural interest for its impressive façade with crisp, good-quality stone decorative details such as foliate bosses, initials and crowns
* Of high townscape interest, it groups with the adjoining listed house at 41 Cheap Street.

SU4720966993

Reasons for Listing

Newbury Post Office is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Of special architectural interest for its impressive façade with crisp, good-quality stone decorative details such as foliate bosses, initials and crowns, good in the context of late-C19 town post offices
* Of high townscape interest, it groups with the adjoining listed house at 41 Cheap Street.

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