Living at Budlake Old Post Office

Budlake Post Office, one of two cottages built for Killerton estate workers © Malcolm Jarvis

Budlake Post Office, one of two cottages built for Killerton estate workers

The sub-Post Office at Budlake has had three different locations. This is the last of the post offices, built in the 19th century. It included the village shop and had two tenants, one who staffed the shop while another did the post round. 

The early days
Budlake Old Post Office gives us a glimpse of the lives of ordinary local people who lived there in the 19th and 20th centuries. The thatched cottages are set in a garden with herb and vegetable plots, a chicken coop and a pigsty - all used to supply the tenants with food. 

The Skerrett family
The Skerretts lived at and ran the post office in the 1950s. Food rationing continued after the Second World War until 1954, so the garden played an extremely important role in feeding its owners.

Mr Skerrett grew vegetables and fruit which he, his wife and two sons ate. Waste and vegetable matter fed the Skerretts’ chickens, who laid eggs for the family to eat - and who would also themselves be eaten by the Skerretts.

Many families in the 1950s would also have had a pig. Like the chickens, pigs ate household waste and provided some extra meat in lean years.

Tenants in the 1950s may still have used outdoor privies and washhouses. The privy and laundry washhouse have been restored and can be visited along with the post office and its beautiful garden.