The house at Tintagel Old Post Office

The building was first built over 600 years ago, as a farmhouse during the Middle Ages. Slowly modified over the centuries, it became more fashionable than functional. The house has served many purposes over time, but it has always been a home. Its final use was as the letter-receiving office for the village during the 1870s. Today, there are five rooms to explore.

The house was built in c.1380 as a medieval thatched house of three rooms with a through-passage. The building would originally have been a single storey dwelling, open to the roof, and would have housed livestock in the northern partition.

A central hearth in the hall would have offered warmth and provided smoke that would seep through the thatch above, killing off woodworm and preserving the wooden frames.

Modified since the medieval period, the main phases of re-development took place during the late 16th and 17th centuries: local brown slate was used in place of thatch for the roof, timber panelling was replaced with stone and a fireplace and chimney stack were also added.
A now smoke-free building, it was possible to add the upstairs bedrooms in the north and south wings, making the building a two-storey hall-house.
By the 19th century, the house had descended into a bad state of repair and was even in danger of being demolished. Various works were carried out on the fabric of the building to save it from such a fate, before its acquisition by the Trust. A final phase of roof restoration took place in 1992.

The Parlour

Step back in time as you enter the first room of the house. In here you can listen to the longcase clock strike the hour and admire the samplers that were worked on by girls as young as nine.

A red diamond on a rag rug was said to ward-off the Devil and stop him from climbing down the chimney.
The Parlour room at Tintagel Old Post Office
A red diamond on a rag rug was said to ward-off the Devil and stop him from climbing down the chimney.

The north bedroom

This room, dominated by its 16th century roof structure, is now furnished with a simple iron bedstead and oak and pine furniture.

The nearby sleeping platform and its commanding views can be appreciated during quieter times of the year. Please see the short film at the bottom of this page.

The hall

The hall is open to the roof and keeps the original height of the early structure, offering ample views of the slate and beams that make up the iconic wavy roof. See the traditional cloam oven fired during baking events or get creative by adding to our work-in-progress rag rug.  


The South bedroom

Climb the spiral staircase to access this bedroom and inspect the wooden beams in detail. This room is furnished with an oak bed and furniture. Can you find which of the girls picked their age out of their sampler?

The postroom

This room has been furnished as the letter-receiving office that served the village during Victorian times, with postal and telegraph equipment located behind the counter. Here you can play post office and personalise your postcards with our decorative stamps.

Play Postmaster or Postmistress
Various stamos and postcards from Tintagel Old Post Office
Play Postmaster or Postmistress

Those old sayings

Have you ever pondered the meaning behind certain sayings? Explore the house to find out where the sayings 'left on the shelf' and 'sleep tight' come from.