The Cornhill Post Office

The same view from the Cornhill of Clarence House on the High Street, the bank of York Buildings and the former Post Office on the Cornhill in about 1910…
and in 2013.

The building of 26 Cornhill which held the Post Office for the most part of the twentieth century is today one of the blandest pieces of architecture in the town, especially given its prominent location at the head of the High Street. This was built in 1964 and replaced a remarkably tall building of the latter half of the eighteenth century.

This site, or perhaps that slightly to its north, would have been the location of the main gatehouse of Bridgwater Castle. Records mention a forework, which would have looked something like the entrance to either the Cathedral or Castle in the market place in Wells. When the Post Office was rebuilt in 1964 excavations in the rear yard found part of the moat.

Bridgwater’s post office was first located on East Quay, before moving to the High Street in the two storey part of the Market House. Between 1897 and 1909 the operation was moved to the premises on the Cornhill and an ample sorting office was built to the rear.

In 1897 the facade of the ground floor facing the Cornhill was rebuilt, with a great semicircular window and an ornate doorway aedicule with a crown in the pediment and the initials VR.

Jarman, History of Bridgwater (St.Ives, 1889)
Lawrence & Lawrence, A History of Bridgwater (Phillimore, Chichester, 2005)
Squibbs, Squibbs’ History of Bridgwater (Phillimore, Chichester, 1982)