The Old Post Office building is thought to be late 15th or early 16th century. It was home to the Mattingley family for 200 years, and became a Post Office in the later 1800's. Next door to the south was the old forge with its wheel pit in front (the circular cover for the pit was still in place in the 1970's). This old postcard shows both buildings in their heyday.
Here's what they looked like in 1994:
HISTORY OF THE POST AND CARRIERS IN ARBORFIELD AND NEWLAND
The following lists derived from commercial directories show the development of the postal service in the area. The common carriers were used to carry more or less anything, and would run regular services from the yards of inns in major towns such as Reading, as listed below.
1842 - CARRIERS
1842 - CARRIERS
Here's the first mention of the Post Office being established in the Old Post Office building.
1883 HENRY MATTINGLEY, Blacksmith and
Postmaster. Newland. (Kellys)
In 1891 the Post Office was also dealing with Money
Orders, and Telegraphs, plus being an Annuity and Insurance Office. (Kellys)
Carrier to Reading, WILLIAM FULBROOK, daily except Wednesday (Kellys)
1911 JOHN HENRY MATTINGLEY, sub postmaster.
By this year, the ever improving service to Arborfield
Letters arrive from Reading 6.50am, 1.10 & 6.30pm;
Percy was helped by his sister Marjorie, until he was coshed over the head by robbers in the early 60ís whilst in the Post Office. He carried on for a while, but was never the same man.
MISS MARJORIE MATTINGLEY took a greater control of the
Post Office and shop and retired in 1968, when the Post
Office moved over to Arborfield Stores. Percy died in 1971.
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