A few years ago I wrote my first post about post boxes – the ones you post letters in, not the mailboxes that belong to a house – and how many different ones there are. Recently I tracked down a couple of Queen Victoria post boxes in my area and even more exciting (I know, it’s the nerd in me) I found a rare Edward VIII post box in the village where my daughter lives, so I got her to go and photograph it for me.
Britain got her first post boxes during the 1850s and shortly after the Post Office quickly settled on using the cipher of the reigning monarch on all letter boxes.
Cast Iron Queen Victoria Wall Mounted Post Box (1837 – 1901)
VR stands for Victoria Regina, Regina being Latin for queen, denoting that Queen Victoria was monarch when the box was installed.
Below is the VR cipher that is found on Victorian pillar boxes – this one is located in Penzance. And if you look at my original post you will see the more elaborate VR cipher on the Penfold boxes.
Below is an example of the short-lived King Edward VIII – EVIIIR – cipher. King for less than a year, (Jan – Dec 1936) these are the rarest of the royal ciphers to locate.
So the only monarch I am missing from my collection is one from the reign of Edward VII (1901 – 1910). There are several in London and also Norfolk and Merseyside, but only one in Cornwall. Looks like I am going to have to track that one down!
There are over 800 different types of post boxes in the UK alone. Perhaps you have an unusual one to share? If you do then please post it and link to this one in the comments or via a pingback. I’d love to see it.
48 thoughts on “Rare Post Boxes”
I am almost certain I saw an Edward VII somewhere in the Lake District. (I was hoping for a Victoria!). I think it was Ambleside. I wish I had a photo, but I can see it in my memory because I was so tickled to find one that old. An Edward VIII would be a find indeed! I have a commemorative Coronation mug of Edward VIII, but according to eBay it’s not especially rare.
Oh, how wonderful to see one. Ambleside is a bit far for me, but I know there are several in London, so maybe on a visit to my Surrey daughter I can track one down there.
Hey I am in the lakes today near grange over sands and I have spotted a Victoria, Edwards VII and a GR!!!
What fun! Ours are very ordinary.
Loved seeing the Victoria signature on these post boxes. Seems so incredible that there are so many different kinds of post boxes.
I’ve been looking through old discs and found a file with pictures of a French holiday in 2005. One of the photos is of an old French postbox, not really ancient but quite bit up and just about recognisably yellow: https://picturesimperfectblog.wordpress.com/2022/08/29/additional-post-box/
Many thanks Elke. So you were photographing post boxes a long time ago!
Apparently so – but I had forgotten about it.
There is an ER VII one in Epsom, Surrey, on East Street 🙂
Oh, thank you. I will have to pay it a visit the next time I am down that way.
👍🏼 During a walk the other day I found another ER VII postbox in Epsom! This one is across Ashley Road and Worple Road.
I found a ER VII in Broadstairs, Kent!
Thank you for letting me know.
There is one in Leigh on Sea , Briarwood Drive
Sadly too far away for me to see, but thank you.
There is a Edward VII one on Newbridge Lane in Stockport , I spotted it today whilst stuck in traffic
Thanks for the information.
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