How rare are Victorian post boxes?

A very rare find There are about 11,500 postboxes in the UK, and nearly all of them have a royal cypher embossed on the front. Over half carry the emblem of the Queen, “EIIR”; there are a surprisingly large number of boxes from Victoria’s reign – ones with a spidery “VR” cypher make up 6 per cent.

Who invented the first post box in Victorian times?

In 1856, Richard Redgrave of the Department of Science and Art designed an ornate pillar box for use in London and other large cities. In 1859 the design was improved, and this became the first National Standard pillar box.

How many Victorian post boxes are there?

About 300 were made, of which 150 survive. Nearly 100 replicas, made at the end of the 1980s, have also been installed. The New Zealand boxes are the only Penfolds to bear the cypher of King Edward VII; all others in the former British controlled territories have the cypher of Queen Victoria.

What is the oldest post box in the UK?

The oldest working pillar box in UK can be found at Barnes Cross, near Sherborne in Dorset. The octagonal box was manufactured by John M Butt & Company of Gloucester in 1853, just a year after roadside pillar boxes were first introduced.

What does VR mean on a post box?

Victoria Regina
VR stands for Victoria Regina, regina being latin for queen, denoting that Queen Victoria was monarch when the box was installed. The cipher is the easiest way to approximately date a post box as you can link it to the monarch on throne at the time of casting and installation.

How old is the oldest post box?

The country’s oldest surviving post box is at Barnes Cross, Holwell, near Sherborne, Dorset. Dating from 1853, it features an unusual octagonal design, crafted by John M Butt & Co, of Gloucester. Standing at 5ft tall, it has a narrow, vertical posting slot, with a swinging flap.

What is the oldest post box?

The country’s oldest postbox is still in use after 161 years, and still bears the initials of Queen Victoria. The red box has been given a new lease of life after locals in Holwell, near Sherborne in Dorset decided it needed a makeover.

Why are post boxes pink?

Promoted Stories The pink colour is the undercoat which needs to dry before the red paint is applied. It prepares the post box and protects it from the elements before the iconic red shade is applied, according to the Royal Mail.

What does a black post box mean?

30 September 2020. Image source, PA Media. Image caption, The four black postboxes are in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. Four postboxes have been painted black to honour black Britons including Sir Lenny Henry and nursing pioneer Mary Seacole.

Why are pillar boxes red?

Firstly their colour: many of the UK’s earliest boxes were painted green to blend in with the landscape, but were repainted the famous ‘pillar box red’ by 1884 to increase visibility. Their second shared feature is their insignia, or marking, of the monarch reigning when the box was placed.

Why do post boxes have ER on them?

An ER post box was set up either during the rule of King Edward or during the time of Queen Elizabeth. The E standing for Elizabeth or Edward, and R standing either for Rex or for Regina, which is Queen in Latin. To know the exact monarch the postbox is honouring, you have to look at the accompanying numbers.

What did the first post box look like?

Initially these were small rectangular boxes mounted either into existing walls or into purpose-built brick pillars. Once these began to prove successful larger varieties were cast, eventually up to three basic sizes.