Heritage Open Day

Tintagel Old Post Office and the adjoining building that is Tintagel Women's Institute were once part of the same farm complex and both saved from demolition by a group of determined locals. For this year's Heritage Open Day, we will once again link arms with Tintagel W.I. to celebrate inspirational female writers and their links to the local area.

The free exhibition will take place in The Gift House, which is the W.I. hall next door to Tintagel Old Post Office on Saturday 15 September, 10.30am-4pm. Please note that normal admission charges still apply to Tintagel Old Post Office. Members visit for free.

This exhibition will involve looking closer at local female writers or writers from further afield who have links to the local area. It is also a chance to sit down with the W.I. ladies for a cup of tea and a slice of cake before discovering over six hundred years of history at Tintagel Old Post Office next door.

Tintagel Old Post Office and Tintagel Women's Institute hall
A front-on shot of Tintagel Old Post Office and Women's Institute
Tintagel Old Post Office and Tintagel Women's Institute hall

The Gift House was once a farm building, possibly a stable block for the small manor house that is now called 'the Old Post Office' due to its brief use as a letter-receiving office for the village in the 1870s. When the building stopped being a post office, the owners were looking to sell the house and the fear among local people was that it would be demolished to make room for the construction of a guesthouse to accommodate the growing number of tourists to Tintagel during the Victorian period, owing to the expansion of the railways into Cornwall.

A group of locals led by Ms Catherine Johns managed to raise funds and buy both buildings as two lots at a nearby auction in 1895. Catherine Johns bought both on the grounds that means would be found to preserve them. She gave The Gift House (hence the name) to the Women's Institute as she had many female friends in the village. The Old Post Office was restored to its former glory after several artists sold their paintings and prints - which featured the house - to help fund restoration work between 1896-1900.

The National Trust bought the house from Catherine Johns in 1903 with money raised through public appeal. Over a hundred years later we continue to celebrate this shared history with the W.I. and the remarkable woman that was Catherine Johns.

Upcoming events

Quilt exhibition

Mon 10 Jun 2019
A quirky collection of quilts from Victorian bedspreads to modern masterpieces on display throughout the house.

Embroidery workshop

Wed 12 Jun 2019
You can spend 20 minutes to 2 hours to either learn and sample cross stitching sampler or stitch a complete letter from the Old Post Office sampler. Children welcome as there is larger holed fabric (6 count Aida) and plastic needles for them to try.

Festival of Archaeology

Sat 13 Jul 2019
Unearth how this historic house would have looked over 600 years ago and find out how the house has evolved over the years. Explore a little further to see other archaeological sites of interest looked after by National Trust in North Cornwall.

Rag rug workshop

Wed 31 Jul 2019
Join Deborah Hastings and the rag rug volunteers to have a go at this age-old art of up-cycling left-over fabrics into soft furnishings for the home. NB there is a charge for materials used.

Gardener's world

Wed 07 Aug 2019
Let your budding gardeners explore the back garden here and learn lots from our Gardener, Kate. Plant up a pot, nurture it at home then enjoy eating what has grown!

Make your own bunting

Wed 14 Aug 2019
For celebration or decoration design your own strip of bunting and display it proudly at home. All materials provided.