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Pillar Box

1155 of 1160 nominations


Pillar Box

Is this an icon?


Pillar Box

The Royal Mail red pillar box is one of the most familiar items of British street furniture. Introduced in 1853, only 13 years after the foundation of the penny post, it meant that posting a letter no longer involved making a trip to the nearest Post Office. Its inventor, surprisingly, was none other than the multi-talented English novelist Anthony Trollope, who worked for the postal service in both Britain and Ireland for over 30 years. Pillar boxes always bear the monogram of the reigning monarch, and some of the most iconic examples of this particular icon are those that show the initials V.R., for Queen Victoria, making them over a century old. Though we may take pillar boxes for granted, a tour through their changing designs and an exploration of the part they play in the national postal collection system can be surprising and fascinating...

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

Because you don't get them abroad

Alan (Fred) Pipes

I have always thought that all Pillar Boxes in the UK were red till a recent and first ever visit to Guernsey only to find Blue boxes all over the Island. On return I went on a family stroll around Windsor in Berkshire. Guess what. Right next to Windsor Castle are a Red and Blue standing next to each other and there next to the Guildhall where Prince Charles married Camila is standing an Olive Green Box. I have suddenly become a 'Pillar Box Spotter'. 'ER' 'GR' 'VR' it matters not how old - what a fasinating subject. My family have just bought me a new anorak.
Graham Le-Gall

I remember the pillar boxes from my tour with the USAF in England and always thought them particularly unique to England. They should go in the list of icons.
Don Selby

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye