Directories and post offices

At Market Lavington Museum, we have several directories, containing information about the village and naming the gentry, clergy and local businesses. These complement the ten yearly censuses in helping us to date and locate some people and trades.

In this blog, we will trawl through some directories in chronological order and see what we can learn about the postal service in Market Lavington. (See also Three Post Office locations and A penny post cover.)

In Pigot’s Directory of 1844, we read ‘POST OFFICE, at the Green Dragon Inn, East Lavington, Henry Philpott, Post Master.’ We gain some interesting information about where the post arrived from and when the mail from the villagers was sent on its way. ‘Letters from parts West and North arrive (from DEVIZES) every morning at a quarter before nine. and are despatched to that town every evening at six. – Letters from parts East and South arrive (from Salisbury) every evening at six and are despatched to that city every morning at a quarter before nine.

Undated postcard showing Green Dragon Inn

By 1848, we learn from …

… that Henry Philpott was still at the Green Dragon Inn and Posting House in East Lavington. We gain a little more detail about collection times.

Kelly’s Directory of 1875 informs us that Charles Pomroy was a draper, hosier and undertaker. The paragraph below shows us that he was also the postmaster. Robert Dowse was at the Green Dragon, so we imagine that the post office had moved from the inn by this time. On the 1871 and 1881 censuses, Charles Pomroy, draper, is living on the High Street.

We also learn of a post box on Broadway, which is still the site of a letter box today, in 2021.

Our 1880 directory has more or less the same information, though the letters from Devizes arrived half an hour earlier, at 7 am.

We will continue tracking Market Lavington’s post office using some twentieth century directories next time.


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