Hawarden Post Office

Hawarden Post Office

This single-storey listed building dates from 1907, the date shown on the eastern side. It has a castellated top, in homage to nearby Hawarden Castle.

It is attached to Kentigern, an 18th-century house facing Rectory Lane, and to the former postal sorting office. You can see the entrance to the latter, now a residence called the Old Sorting Office, to the east of the post office building.

hawarden_post_office_1906Previously Hawarden Post Office was on Glynne Way. It was in the building on the right of the old photo, which was taken in 1906.

In the late 19th century, the post office was exceptionally busy on 29 December each year while William Ewart Gladstone lived in Hawarden Castle. That was his birthday, and extra staff were drafted in to deal with the volume of post and telegrams sent by well-wishers, who included the Prince of Wales and admirers in Ireland. Telegrams were taken by messengers to the castle as they arrived throughout the day.

On his birthday in 1885, almost 500 letters had arrived by 10am along with numerous parcels, one of which contained an American axe. Felling trees was one of his main hobbies. He was Prime Minister four times between 1868 and 1894. His reforms included strengthening the rights of farm tenants in Ireland.

The birthday postal operation was overseen by Samuel Fairbrother, the village postmaster at the time. He received various keepsakes from Gladstone.

In April 1915, the staff of Hawarden Post Office presented a watch to local postman Joseph Williams in appreciation of his patriotism. He was off to London to join the Post Office Rifles of the London Regiment. He died at the Western Front in July 1917, aged 21, and is buried near Ypres, Belgium. He was born in Hawarden to Samuel and Emily Williams.

Postcode: CH5 3DG    View Location Map