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Penny Black’s stamp of approval

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Penny Black’s stamp of approval
Article date: 26 Jul 2012

The Penny Black pub is one of several historical town-centre buildings in Bicester to be given greater protection.

The Bicester Conservation Area, originally created in 1969, has been extended by Cherwell District Council, in its first review of the zone since 1992.

A list of buildings of ‘architectural or historical significance’ has been drawn up to get further protection during key planning decisions, including The Penny Black, a former post office which dates from 1914.

It opened as a Wetherspoon pub in October 1997, bearing the name of the famous stamp which marked the birth of the modern postal system.

Rob Hymes, pictured, former duty manager at The Penny Black (now at The Swan & Castle in Oxford), said: “It certainly is an historic building, being the old post office. It’s good, because it means that the building will be protected and hopefully here for a long time to come.”

Bob Hessian, chairman of the Bicester Local History Society, told the Oxford Mail newspaper: “A place like Bicester is under great pressure for new development.

“It is important, if there are buildings of interest or of sufficient character, that they be preserved in some way.”

The conservation area was first set up amid greater awareness and action over the protection of England’s historic buildings.

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