The Postal History of Alton, Hampshire

Alton Coaches

Carters’ waggons used the George Inn (no longer in existence) and stopped each Monday and Wednesday evening to and from London and Winchester: they were named “Brookman’s Winchester Wagons”. Clark’s Gosport Wagons stopped at the George Inn on Tuesday evenings on the way to London, and spent the night there on the way back each Friday. The Black Boy (now the White Horse Inn) also appears to have been used by the Carters.

In 1750 a coach named the “Alton Machine” plied between Alton and London each day. In the same period it appears that there were three up and three down coaches daily between London and Southampton and Gosport passing through Alton. Names quoted are, “The Age” , “The Times “, and “The Red Rover”. Mr. Yalden’s coach went to London one day and returned the next.

In 1784 there were three services operating: Southampton to London, Gosport to London, and Poole to London. The Hampshire Directory of’ 1784 states that the coach services available were :

  • Collyer’s Southampton to London coach, calling at the Swan Inn at 10 am daily except Sunday, the return coach stopping at the Swan Inn at 12 noon.
  • Coaches from Gosport to London stopped at the George Inn at 4 am and a second coach at the-i Swan Inn at 10 am daily.
  • A local coach left the Crown Inn at 4 am daily for London.
  • The Poole coach stopped at the Crown Inn at 8. 30 am on the way to London, and returned at 4 am from the Crown Inn to Poole.

These were not Mail Coaches even though the coachmen may have carried letters unofficially.

In 1836 the Royal Mail Coach run by ‘W. Chaplin & Co went through Alton to and from London and Poole.