News File

Brief history

Anthony Trollope, the novelist, introduced the pillar box to Britain in 1852 when he worked as a Post Office Surveyor in the Channel Islands. The first mainland box was erected a year later in 1853. At first local District Surveyors ordered boxes from local foundries. In 1859 a standard design was introduced. Wall boxes appeared in 1857, Ludlow boxes in 1885 and lamp boxes in 1896.

Each new reign brings boxes bearing the royal cipher of the monarch. Pillar boxes and wall boxes have been made in different sizes and with improvements to the design incorporated over time. A large number of different manufacturers have been employed and over the years there have been many experimental boxes put in service.

The Group

Founded in 1976, the LBSG has identified around 800 different types of postbox. There are more than 400 different varieties of pillar box; around 160 types of wall box, 66 Ludlow boxes and almost 80 versions of the lamp box. New boxes are still appearing while there are still many older boxes waiting to be discovered and rediscovered.
The Letter Box Study Group is the acknowledged authority on the history and development of the British roadside letter box.


We are an active group of individuals devoted to the study of postboxes. From modest beginnings four decades ago the Letter Box Study Group has grown to become the recognised authority on the subject – all through the voluntary efforts of its members.


Royal Mail to Celebrate England Cricket’s Historic World Cup Win

Royal Mail celebrated the England Cricket team’s historic victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup with an issue of special stamps, by decoraing several postboxes in white and gold livery, and with a postmark. Representing England and Wales, this is the first time that the England Men’s and Women’s teams have held both the ICC Cricket World Cup winners’ titles simultaneously.