Hampshire Cultural Trust

Alton's Post Office

In common with many places, the site of Alton’s post office has changed frequently over the centuries. The first time that the town had a purpose built establishment was when it came to, what is now, 15a High Street. The new building was opened on 11 August 1901 and the year is recorded high up on the front wall.

A trade directory of 1895 shows that, by this time, there was a sub-post office in Anstey Road, run by William Simpson Halliday. There were also wall post boxes at Newtown, Normandy Street, the Railway Station, Anstey, West Street (Lenten Street) and The Butts.

By 1907, another sub-post office had appeared - in Butts Road. Two new wall post boxes were listed  - High Street and Ackender Road - but the latter could have been the one previously said to have been at Newtown. Four years later, Beech had a sub-post and telegraph office and a wall box had been placed in Turk Street.

After W.W.I, the post master was Mr W Berry and Treloar Hospital had its own post box. By 1935, there were 16 post boxes in the area - Anstey, Anstey Lane, Ackender Road, Railway Station, Borovere Lane, Cripples Hospital, High Street, Kings Road, Lenten Street, Park Close Road, Spitalhatch, The Butts, Turk Street, Victoria Road, Windmill Hill, Will Hall.

The Post Office stayed at the bottom of Crown Hill for over 60 years but then it moved again. A picture in the Alton Gazette of 13 February 1964 has an aerial view of Alton High Street, showing the site of the ‘new Post Office’ that opened in 1965. Following considerable public debate, the High Street site closed in August 2007 and business was transferred into the premises of WH Smith in Westbrooke Walk.