Mail Coach, c. 1800
Accession number: 2006-0246
Our mail coach was restored from several broken elements that were found in a farmyard. The body work was reconstructed on to the original 18th-century undercarriage. It is thought that the mail coach would have transported mail between London and Bristol.
Mail coaches required quick changes of horses every ten miles. This made them much faster than the previous post boys. A record time of 16 hours between London and Bristol was reached on the first journey in August 1784. Mail coaches continued to depart from London until April 1846. They continued in the provinces for just a few years more.
Mail coach guards were the only Post Office employee on a mail coach. The guards had to be heavily armed to protect the mails from highwaymen. See Weapons for more information.