We’ve been using post boxes, for more than 200 years and research has discovered that the earliest known post box was installed at Wakefield Post Office® in 1809. To celebrate this anniversary Royal Mail is releasing a Miniature Sheet of four stamps featuring iconic wall mounted Post Boxes.
A post box is the overall title
for any kind of posting box whether it’s standing proud on
the pavement (pillar box), a smaller freestanding version (pedestal
box), on, or in, a wall (wall box), or on a pole (lamp box).
The first Post Boxes, often just slots into the office,
appeared over 200 years ago at Post Offices® for the
convenience of people posting unpaid letters (the letters were paid for
by the recipient). Wall boxes as we know them today were
installed from 1857 as a cheaper alternative to pillar boxes, and have
established themselves as a national icon, serving the needs of smaller
communities. The first pillar boxes were installed in 1852 in the Channel Islands and 1853 on the mainland. Now, around 100,000 Post Boxes of all kinds exist across the UK,
Class – George V Type B Wall Box
This example with the royal cipher of George V was cast by W T Allen & Co Ltd, London, between 1933-36, and is from Cookham Rise near Maidenhead.
– Edward VII Ludlow Box
Introduced in 1887 this type of standardized box derives its name from the foundry where many of them were made. This example is from Bodiam, East Sussex.
– Victorian Lamp Box
The lamp box could also be attached to lamp post or other such structure. This example is from Hythe in Kent and was installed in 1896.
– Elizabeth II
Type A Wall Box
This Elizabeth II Wall box is located in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield and would have been made between 1962 and 1963.
On the same date Royal Mail will issue a Prestige Stamp Book entitled 'Treasures of the Archive'.
Some of the amazing artefacts held in trust for the nation by the British Postal Museum and Archive are shown in the booklet - including a stamp pane featuring all four of the Post Boxes stamps. The book contains four exclusive stamp panes unavailable anywhere else. All the stamps are printed by Walsall SP in litho so producing new stamps. (The 62p stamps are the normal red, not orange as shown in these pubblicity images.)
Pane 1: four 1st and four 20p Definitives, both stamps bearing the double image of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria from the 150th anniversary of the Penny Black stamps, set around a Penny Post label first issued in 1990, with the Penny Black portrait of Queen Victoria in the background.
Pane 2: four 20p stamps featuring the Royal Mail Coach from the 1989 Lord Mayor's show issue, showing the door of the Bristol - London Mailcoach in the backgound..
Pane 3: all four of the Post Boxes stamps in a block of 4, rather than a strip. The background shows a Penfold hexagonal Victorian pillar box.
Pane 4: four 17p Machin Definitives, two 22p Machins and two 62p Machins around a GPO logo label, the background showing images of the proposed 1937 coronation issue for King Edward VIII.
A generic sheet consisting of 20 x 1st class Postbox stamps from the miniature sheet, with 20 labels depicting postboxes or details from them.
designed by Elmwood and is printed in litho by Walsall
Royal Mail have confirmed that the MS was also printed by
The Smilers Sheet was designed by Elmwood, and is printed by Cartor Security Print in litho.
The Prestige Stamp Book is designed by Silk Pearce, with narrative by Douglas Muir, and is printed by Walsall Security Print in litho. The Book has the imprint of Cartor SP. Information previously shown was provided by Royal Mail before issue.
All stamp and other images are copyright Royal Mail 2009.
Prestige Stamp Book
Set of 5 stamp Cards unused
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown below - these may not be to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.
| Ref FD919
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
| Ref FD920
Wakefield Official Postmark
| Ref FD920n
Wakefield Official non-pictorial Postmark
| Ref N11432
18 August 09
| Ref N11431
Bicentenary 1809 Post Boxes, Wakefield
| Ref N11428
Postboxes, Hill Street, Birmingham.
| Ref L11432
| Ref L11422
Bicentenary Post Boxes
| Ref L11421
(shows Queen Victoria)
| Ref L11424
(shows King George VI)
| Ref L11419
Box, Corsham (Wiltshire)
| Ref L11418
Letter Box Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent
| Ref FD921
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark (shows mailcoach)
| Ref FD922
Official postmark London SW7 (shows early delivery cycle)
| Ref FD922N
London EC1 non-pictorial Official Postmark
| Ref M11429
Birmingham Philatelic Society 125 Years.
| Ref N11433
10th Anniversary Sheridan Philatelic Covers, Widnes
| Ref W11446
Bath Postal Museum, Cnr Green Street, Bath *
| Ref N11459
Post Boxes, Wakefield
|* We apologise for the quality of this image.|
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This page updated 8 September 2009.
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