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The Narrows

This building was once the town’s main post office.

25 High Street, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AA
Number 25 High Street was Abingdon’s main post office for more than a century, until its closure in January 2009. The present-day High Street extends east-west from Market Place to The Square. The stretch by the post office (next to The Square) was long known as ‘The Narrows’. In 1883, most of the buildings here were destroyed by fire. The street was then widened. The post office was one of the new buildings erected in the early 1890s, with James Smith as the postmaster. The stone shop front was added in 1954.

A plaque documenting the history of The Narrows.

The plaque reads: These licensed premises are in that part of High Street once known as The Narrows, having been much narrower than it is today. Most of the buildings in The Narrows were destroyed in 1883, by fire. New buildings were erected in the early 1890s, including the town’s main post office – the building in which you now find yourself. The post office served Abingdon for more than a century, closing in January 2009.

These premises were refurbished by J D Wetherspoon in October 2013.

Prints and text about the NVI stamps.

The text reads: On 19 January 1999 the original NVI stamps were joined by a third NVI to prepay the pan-European letter rate which had been fixed at 30p the previous April. Instead of a value they have a capital letter E and, like their predecessors, they will remain valid whatever the rate becomes. Because NVIs are permanent, they are allocated permanent colours, these being flame and light blue for the inland services and dark blue for the European rate.
The colours of value stamps change as new values are required or an existing value prepays a different service. A few values have been bi-coloured but the majority are monochrome although the sculpted head is designed to stand out from the background. Over 75 colours have been used at one time or another during the series long life, with many shades beloved of collectors.

Printer: The house of Questa Limited, Parkhouse Street, London printed this lithographic pane which features nine 1st class non-value indicators (NVI).

An original postcard from Abingdon.



A collection of historic stamps.



An original registered letter.


A photograph of an old sorting office.



Modern artwork inspired by the stamp.



A photograph of the front of the building as Abingdon Post Office on 2 May, 1904.



External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk