Ten of the Oldest Pillar Boxes in the UK (Post Boxes)

Ten of the Oldest Pillar Boxes in the UK (Post Boxes)
Ten of the Oldest Pillar Boxes in the UK (Post Boxes)

For those who don’t know a Pillar Box is, it’s a free-standing post box often coloured red (or sometimes gold to mark Gold medal Olympic winners). These post pillars have been used since 1852 and some of them are so old they have achieved national heritage status…


Ten of the Oldest Pillar Boxes in the UK (Post Boxes)


 

Pillar Box in High Street, Berkshire
Pillar Box in High Street, Berkshire

10 – High Street, Berkshire (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: The first design for London, by Grissel & Son of Hoxton Ironworks was rather stubby and rectangular, although surmounted by a decorative ball. Erected in 1855, they were replaced because people complained that they were ugly.

Pillar Box in Westgate, Warwick
Pillar Box in Westgate, Warwick

9 – Westgate, Warwick (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: The very first boxes erected in the UK are not recorded, but the designs varied from area to area as each district surveyor issued their own specifications and tendered to their own chosen foundries. The earliest ones were essentially experimental, including octagonal pillars or fluted columns, vertical slits instead of horizontal ones, and other unusual features.

Pillar Box in Eastgate, Warwick
Pillar Box in Eastgate, Warwick

8 – Eastgate, Warwick (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: Before the introduction of pillar boxes, in the UK, it was customary to take outgoing mail to the nearest letter-receiving house or post office. Such houses were usually coaching inns or turnpike houses where the Royal Mail coach would stop to pick up and set down mails and passengers.

Pillar Box in Victoria Road, Milford-on-Sea
Pillar Box in Victoria Road, Milford-on-Sea

7 – Victoria Road, Milford-on-Sea (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: Most traditional British pillar boxes produced after 1905 are made of cast iron and are cylindrical. Other shapes have been used: the hexagonal Penfolds, rectangular boxes that have not proved to be popular.

Pillar Box in Mudeford, Dorset
Pillar Box in Mudeford, Dorset

6 – Mudeford, Dorset (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: Cast iron pillar box construction comprises three distinct main parts: The Cap, The Door and the Carcas.

Pillar Box in Market Place, Oxfordshire
Pillar Box in Market Place, Oxfordshire

5 – Market Place, Oxfordshire (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: The red post box is regarded as a British cultural icon. Royal Mail estimates there are over 100,000 post boxes in the United Kingdom that are still in use today!

Pillar Box in Double Street, Suffolk
Pillar Box in Double Street, Suffolk

4 – Double Street, Suffolk (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: Mail may also be deposited in lamp boxes or wall boxes that serve the same purpose as pillar boxes but are attached to a post or set into a wall. According to the Letter Box Study Group, there are more than 150 recognised designs and varieties of pillar boxes and wall boxes, not all of which have known surviving examples.

Pillar Box in College Road, Suffolk
Pillar Box in College Road, Suffolk

3 – College Road, Suffolk (Installed 1856)

Wiki Info: Mail is deposited in pillar boxes to be collected by the Royal Mail, An Post or the appropriate postal operator and forwarded to the addressee. The boxes have been in use since 1852, just twelve years after the introduction of the first adhesive postage stamps (Penny Black) and uniform penny post.

Pillar Box in Barness Cross, Dorset
Pillar Box in Barness Cross, Dorset

2 – Barness Cross, Dorset (Installed 1853)

Wiki Info: Pillar boxes were provided in territories administered by the United Kingdom, such as Mandatory Palestine, and territories with agency postal services provided by the British Post Office such as Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait and Morocco. The United Kingdom also exported pillar boxes to countries that ran their own postal services, such as Argentina, Portugal and Uruguay.

Pillar Box in St Peters Port, Guernsey
Pillar Box in St Peters Port, Guernsey

1 – St Peters Port, Guernsey (Installed 1853)

Wiki Info: They are found in the United Kingdom and in most former nations of the British Empire, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and British overseas territories, such as Australia, Cyprus, India, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, the Republic of Ireland, Malta, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.