On this day in history : 3rd August 1971 – The oldest post office in the world, at Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway, which has been in service since 1712, becomes a listed building….

The post office, which is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, pre-dates the second oldest in the world – located in Stockholm, Sweden – by 8 years…. It was first used by the aristocracy to deliver messages across the border between Scotland and England, by mail delivery riders on horseback…. Since that time it has been in continuous service and has had 16 postmasters and mistresses…. For much of the 20th century it was run by one family….

Nowadays, as well as providing an essential lifeline for the 2,000 or so local people of Sanquhar, it is a tourist attraction…. It is popular with stamp collectors who look to having their letters hand franked with the postmark of the post office….

In November 2019 the post office came on the property market as the current owners are retiring…. It was advertised at £275,000 and includes a 3 bedroom cottage…. The owners were eager to get a sale before the end of May 2020 – but then Covid-19 struck! At the time of writing this I am unsure what the outcome has been – if you know feel free to comment…. Likewise, if I manage to find out I will update…. In the meantime it sounds like an opportunity may still be there to become the 17th postmaster or mistress of the world’s oldest post office….

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