The modernist Type K box was designed by Tony Gibbs and was intended to be the pillar box of the future. A cylindrical design without a separate cap, installation began in 1980. Five different foundries cast versions of the Type K. In service the hinges of the door proved prone to failure. No more were… Read More

Lamp boxes were first introduced in 1896; a small letter box designed to be attached to lamp posts in locations such as London’s affluent squares and crescents to allow late-evening posting of correspondence. Being cheap to provide they soon became the box of choice for many rural areas where the volume of posting did not… Read More

First based at the Milton Iron Works in Glasgow and later at the Lauriston Iron Works, Falkirk, this company has cast pillar boxes, wall boxes and lamp boxes under various contracts from 1904 until well into Elizabeth II’s reign. Earlier boxes bear the location LONDON & GLASGOW, with later boxes bearing LONDON & FALKIRK; the… Read More

An unofficial name given to cheap cast iron Type B (small) pillar boxes produced by the Carron Company around 1979/80 and intended for the export market. The body of the box was cast in one piece, including the cap (which bears no fluting). At a time of supply shortage some “Nigerian” boxes were installed in… Read More

This is the estimated total number of working Royal Mail letter boxes in the UK. The LBSG has detailed records of more than 97% of this 115,500 total. The records are stored in the LBSG Directory, which is constantly updated as Members report the details of their sightings and surveys.… Read More

Architect J W Penfold was responsible for designing the handsome hexagonal pillar boxes that are known by his name. These boxes were cast between 1866 and 1879. With a cap surrounded by balls, featuring stylised acanthus leaves and topped with an acanthus bud finial, these are among the best loved Victorian letter boxes. There were… Read More

When the first of Queen Elizabeth’s boxes were erected in Scotland, in 1952, some objected to the EIIR cipher, arguing that Scotland had never had an Elizabeth I. Several boxes in Scotland were vandalised. The problem went as far as the prime minister; eventually it was decided that Scottish boxes would bear a Scottish Crown… Read More

The ROYAL MAIL legend first appeared on letter boxes in the early 1990s; prior to this letter boxes had the words POST OFFICE cast onto them. The change was prompted by the separation of Post Office Counters Limited and Royal Mail as independent companies, part of the unpicking of the old Post Office/Royal Mail Group… Read More

The company Smith & Hawkes was one of the earliest contractors for manufacturing letter boxes. The Fluted boxes of 1856 were cast at their Eagle Foundry in Broad Street, Birmingham. Wall boxes from 1857-1874 were also Smith & Hawkes products and bear their name cast onto the box below the door.… Read More

Sir Anthony Trollope had a lengthy career with the Post Office, starting as a humble clerk in 1834. He escaped the tedious work at St Martin’s-le-Grand after seven years by volunteering as a field clerk in Ireland; here his career flourished. It was while he was working as a Surveyor in the Channel Islands that… Read More