General Post Office
Building From 23/9/1829 To 1910
The General Post Office moved from Bishopsgate Street to a building in Abchurch Lane in 1678 and remained there until the opening of this building on the east side of St. Martins-le-Grand in 1829, designed by Robert Smirke. Here Trollope began work as a junior clerk and here Rowland Hill transformed the Post Office into an efficient, greatly-loved institution.
In the 1870s a new building was created on the west of St Martins-le-Grand to house the telegraph department. This was expanded to the north in the 1890s. The magnificent Smirke building was closed and demolished in 1912. All that remains is an Ionic capital outside the Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow.
The National Telephone Company, created in 1881 out of a number of small local telephone companies, was taken over by the GPO in 1912.