GPO South
...spanning the centuries.
GPO South

GPO South had its origin as the Post Office Savings Bank HQ on Queen Victoria Street.

The headquarters was extended onto Addle Hill and Carter Lane and this section was later renamed as
the North Block of Faraday, which then housed the Central Telephone Exchange and later the well known International Telephone Exchange. It was finally demolished in the early part of the 21st century.



Photo: GPO South on Carter Lane © Light Straw September 2002.
| EXIT | GPO South |
| Introduction | The Doctors' Commons | Bell Yard | Post Office Savings Bank | Faraday 2A | The Grange | Marconi |

Early History


GPO South, in Central London, was close to St. Paul's Cathedral. The street around the Cathedral was known as St. Paul's Churchyard. Within GPO South the history of the site can be traced back to the sixteenth century to the time of the Doctors' Commons.


The Doctors' Commons
The Doctors' Commons
The Doctors' Commons was a familiar name given to the College of Advocates and Doctors of Law which was founded in 1511. They had shared facilities, such as a common dining/meeting hall, a group of clerks and scribes, and probably a common waiting room.



Photo: On the site of GPO South. © LSA October 2005
 
Bell Yard  
Bell Yard
Bell Yard

A tablet beneath the entrance to Bell Yard, a few paces east, recalls the Bell Tavern, whence Thomas Quinney addressed a request for a loan from Shakespeare - the only letter to Shakespeare now extant (at Stratford-on-Avon).



Photo: Bell Yard on Carter Lane. © LSA September 1999
Post Office Savings Bank
POSB Queen Victoria Street
Post Office Savings Bank on Queen Victoria Street, London.

Growth in the Post Office Savings Bank business lead to the establishment, circa 1880, of a new GPO headquarters building on Queen Victoria Street. To distinguish this from other GPO HQ, the site was designated 'GPO South'.



Photo: Post Office Savings Bank HQ circa 1880. © National Archives (used with permission).
   
Faraday 2A  
Faraday 2A
Faraday 2A (2nd floor Annex) was a busy Intercontinental switchroom located within the North Block. English was the main operating language, but fifteen linguists were also employed by day and a similar number for nights.


Photo: Entrance to GPO South from Knightrider Street © LSA Jan 2001.

   
The Grange St. Paul's Hotel
The Grange St. Paul's Hotel
The Grange St. Paul's Hotel was built on the site of GPO South, circa 2006-2010.



Photo: On the site of GPO South, Addle Hill © LSA July 2010
Marconi  
Guglielmo Marconi
From GPO West on 27th July 1896 Marconi made the first public transmission of wireless signals.

Marconi and his assistant, George Kemp demonstrated a wireless telegraphy system between two Post Office buildings, a distance of 300 metres. The transmitter was situated on the roof of the Central Telegraph Office (GPO West) and the receiver on the roof of GPO South in Carter Lane, which was at the top of Addle Hill.

There is no plaque at the former GPO South site to recognise the event.

Photo: The plaque on the wall of BT Centre (GPO West)© LSA October 2005
 
 
 

NOTES (local server only) 

Queen Victoria was born 24th May 1819 and died 22nd January 1901. She ascended to the throne in June 1837. Queen Victoria Street was established circa 1861.