Victorian Post boxes
The first British wayside letter boxes were erected in the Channel Islands in 1852. The idea was adopted on the mainland the next year and the first UK box appeared in Botchergate Carlisle during 1853. They rapidly spread throughout the land, mostly in cities.
Our collection covers the earliest mainland types from 1861 up to the death of Victoria in 1901. It was a time of innovation and many changes in the design as different ideas were tried and rejected or accepted for further development. By the end of the century, the modern wall box and pillar box had arrived.
Our earliest box is the "Second National StandardWall Box No. 2" by Smith & Hawkes foundry of Birmingham. It was cast in 1859. Our fabulous Penfold is an exact replica of a Victorian hexagonal pillar box of 1866, named after the architect J. W . Penfold. Here you can also see the attractive Jubilee Pillar of 1887 and an unusual brass and tin letter box for use in a Victorian country house.
The Jubilee pillar box on the right, carrying an original Victorian cast iron Closure Plate,has an interesting history. It was taken out of service in the early 1970s after a collision with a vehicle which snapped it off its base. It was later donated by Royal Mail to George Corner of Batley - the Wogglehopper.....
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