The Former Post Office on the Corner of the High Street and Queens Road

Run by the Pratt family from 1832 - 1871.

Added by Pat Marsden

Post Office on the Corner of the High Street and Queens Road taken in the Early Twentieth Century
Wivenhoe Memories Collection
Sale Notice for Wivenhoe Post Office 22 July 1853
Essex Standard 15 July 1853
The Post Office decorated for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Mr and Mrs Bristow won first prize.
Photo: Jane Butt. Wivenhoe Memories Collection

It is not yet known exactly when the Post Office was first established in Wivenhoe but we do know that there was a daily post coach to London in 1827 (i) and also a daily carrier to Colchester in 1843 (ii). Pigot’s Trade Directory for Essex of 1832-3 (iii) clearly refers to the:

POST OFFICE, WIVENHOE, James Pratt, Post Master. Letters from London arrive (per mail cart) from COLCHESTER, every morning at half-past eight, and are despatched every evening at half-past six.

In 1853 James Pratt died and by direction of his executors his property was put up for sale on Friday 22 July. This was described as ‘Comprising two substantial brick, tile and plaster-built Dwelling-houses, one of which is the Post Office, and in the occupation of Miss Pratt; together with large Gardens, well adapted for Building purposes, with good frontage, and adjoining the Park and Grounds of the late William Brummell, Esq., on the north; also the the property of Thomas Sanford, Esq., on the south.  The present rents together £14.10s.’  A deed at Essex Record Office records the details of the sale on that date for £330 and a later endorsement refers to a contract bearing the names of Pratt and Corsellis (v).

Miss Sarah Pratt must have continued in her father’s footsteps as she was listed as postmistress in the list of inhabitants in White’s Directory of 1863 (v) and she was still listed in residence (unmarried) at the age of 65 in the 1871 Census.

References
i) Colchester Gazette, 9 June 1827
ii) P.O. Directory Essex (1843), 144
iii) Pigot & Co.’s Commercial Dir. (1832), 721
(iv) D/DU 225/54 (1853)
(v) White’s Dir. Essex (1863)

This page was added on 09/04/2016.

Comments about this page

  • Sarah Pratt was not the daughter of James Pratt. She was the daughter of John Pratt and Sarah Mann who married in April 1800. Her brothers were Captain John Pratt and Robert Pratt coal merchant. She seems to have been postmistress from sometime after 1841. I am unsure what relation James Pratt was.

    By WILLIAM Pratt (04/08/2019)
  • Thank you for that additional information. A bit more investigation required to clarify their family relationship!

    By Pat Marsden (06/08/2019)

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