Rare Post Boxes

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)

St Michael’s Mount Wall Mounted Post Box

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.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

48 thoughts on “Rare Post Boxes”

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. Hey I am in the lakes today near grange over sands and I have spotted a Victoria, Edwards VII and a GR!!!

      1. 👍🏼 During a walk the other day I found another ER VII postbox in Epsom! This one is across Ashley Road and Worple Road.

  2. There is a Edward VII one on Newbridge Lane in Stockport , I spotted it today whilst stuck in traffic

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