Scotland

World's oldest post office up for sale in Sanquhar

A photograph of the front of 307-year-old post office Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The property in Sanquhar comes with outbuildings that were originally stables for the horses drawing the mail carriages

The world's oldest post office is up for sale.

The branch in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, has been in continuous service since 1712.

Its current owners Nazra Alam, 67, and her husband Dr Manzoor Alam, 77, have been running it for more than four years, but now plan to retire.

The post office pre-dates the second oldest, in Stockholm, Sweden, by eight years while the third oldest in Santiago, Chile, opened in 1772.

On the market for £275,000, it comes with a three-bedroom cottage, a courtyard and some outbuildings.

It started out as a staging post for mail carriages, with the old stables thought to have once provided a resting place for horses drawing the mail carriages.

"I hope someone will come along and buy it and keep it going because this is Scotland's heritage and more particularly Sanquhar's," she said.

"The post office has been in operation since 1712 so it would be a shame to have to shut it down."

The couple took over the business in July 2015

She said: "I've enjoyed every moment of running it.

"The last five years has been a remarkable journey and I've enjoyed it, it's a nice area and nice people and we have visitors from all over the world."

The Post Office said it was committed to preserving the branch into the future.

A spokesman said: "Post Office will be working with the local community to try to find a new postmaster to take on the branch and ensure it remains part of the Post Office network and Sanquhar's unique place in postal history is retained.

"In the meantime, the branch remains open for business as usual."