Friday, 4 December 2015

Post Boxes

Whenever we go away I am always on the look-out for unusual post-boxes.  They may be old ones like this Victorian fluted one we came across in Malvern.
On our October holiday we also came across a range of ‘Ludlow’ boxes.  These are boxes which were made of rustic pine with a cast iron beading and enamel plate baring the cypher of the reigning monarch at the time of supply.  They were supplied from the time of Queen Victoria to the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ludlow boxes were introduced because, until 1910, sub-postmasters were responsible for the provision of secure posting facilities in their post offices. As the traditional cast iron boxes were heavy and expensive, James Ludlow & Son introduced a range of much cheaper boxes which they could supply at a competitive price to sub-postmasters. 

They were also to be seen in large country houses, public buildings and hotels.  James Ludlow manufactured the boxes in various styles and produced colour leaflets describing the boxes.

At their height, it is estimated that there were some 5,000–7,000 Ludlow boxes in use in the UK. As the network of post offices has contracted, many of these have been withdrawn from service and removed until today there are around 450 left.

Inside large country houses one can often find a post box in the hall or reception area.  This one is at Attingham Park, Shropshire and is certainly a cut above something made by James Ludlow out of rustic pine.    


  1. Interesting, and your first and last ones are gorgeous.

  2. This was fascinating, thank you! I've not yet come across a post box in a large country house or hotel, but I know they existed, and of course it made sense - most of the large places had so many people living in them (the family, their visitors and an army of servants plus their visitors' servants) that there were certainly enough letters written to make an own post box worth its while.

  3. The Attingham Park one is obviously custom made, and I think that would be a very grand thing to have. You have certainly spotted some splendid ones on your travels.

  4. These are lovely. I like the old post boxes too. My favourite one is in Essex, alongside a road, built into a stone wall. But when we used to go past it, I often wondered if anyone ever remembered to empty it? Haven't been down that road in a long time, so I don't know if it's still there. xoxox

  5. Never thought about collecting photos of post/mail boxes. There are a lot of odd ones (flamingos, manatees) in Florida where I recently traveled.

  6. Along with so many, i decry the disappearance of post boxes. Around here, it's not safe to put the mail in your own delivery box to go out, as people rob them to try to get cheques or information from your outgoing bills that they can use to steal your identity, and you can hardly find a box in which to drop them unless you go to a post office!

  7. This is one of the very many reasons it's so good going anywhere with you as a companion. Of course it's not just post boxes that are the subject of your extensive knowledge of the usual and not-so-usual.

  8. Of course I've enjoyed this pictures. I also take pictures of mailboxes everywhere I go :)


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