Stirling’s Old Post Office, Maxwell Place, 1894

The plans for Stirling’s new Post Office were drawn up by officials at HM Office of Works in Edinburgh in May 1893. This new building was to replace the previous Post Office building on the same site with a bigger facility. The Royal Mail was a UK wide service run by central government at this time so the new Post Office was not designed by a local architect. The building warrant for construction was granted on 11 June 1894.

Although the postal service in Stirling dates back to the weekly delivery of newsletters and gazettes in the 1660s, Stirling did not have a Post Office building until around 1780. The building used was a thatched house of one storey situated in St Mary’s Wynd and run by two sisters by the name of Glas. The entire correspondence of Stirling was held within the office in a series of pigeon holes in a frame 12 inches long by 6 inches deep.

The office had a number of homes for the next 100 years, moving in around 1796 to St John Street where it remained until 1807. At this time the Postmaster was William Anderson, bookseller and stationer who served on the Town Council as Provost of Stirling 6 times. The office then moved to Baker Street in the premises of William Paterson who was Postmaster until 1825. The office remained in Baker Street until 1829 when it was moved to King Street at number 79. As postal business increased, more space was required so the office moved to a larger building, also in King Street. Another move for the office to Murray Place happened in 1863.

In 1869, the coming of the telegraph service to Stirling led to complaints about the lack of space in the current office and a new premises was purchased in Maxwell Place for £2000 in 1878. This building was altered to accommodate postal business and opened in 1879. There was continued dissatisfaction about the cramped nature of the premises and it was demolished in 1893 to make way for the building of a proper office designed for the efficient running of the busy modern postal service of the day. The building was opened on Friday 24th May 1895 with a short ceremony during which Provost Kinross posted the first letter ‘amid cheers’ and then at 3.30 pm, opened the front door and despatched the first telegram.

The internal arrangement gives a clear idea of how business was transacted in the office showing the public counter, sorting office and Postmaster’s Room.

This building remained Stirling’s main Post Office until its closure in May 2008. It is now a popular bar.