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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The General Post Office

This was another Oil Gas Installation undertaken by Taylor and Martineau. The General Post Office was rebuilt soon after this installation at St.Martin le Grande, but when the gas plant was installed it was at the south western end of Lombard Street, where Post Office Court still runs between Lombard and King William Streets and where, indeed, a Post Office can still be found on the corner of the court at 10 Lombard Street.

The architect to the Post Office in this period was Joseph Kay, who had previously acted as a consultant and surveyor to the Gas Light and Coke Co., but had clearly since joined the oil gas camp and gave evidence to the Enquiry into Oil Gas as Surveyor to the GPO. Kay was also Surveyor to the Foundling Hospital and became so to Greenwich Hospital Estates - being responsible for much of the current Greenwich town centre.

The decision to install the gas works would have taken at a time when the second Marquess of Salisbury was Postmaster General. Kay himself had been a pupil in the Cockerell architect’s practice - Christopher Cockerell was also involved in the Gas Light and Coke Company. Kay’s main work with the Post Office was, however, involved the new buildings at St.Martin le Grand.

This installation was clearly short lived since the Post Office itself moved in 1829 at which time a coal gas plant was used.

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