OLD POSTBOX | My Website



I have never seen a black Post Box before even if if they are no longer in operation. This is on the front wall of Brograns Hotel in Trim. As you can see it is an old style UK box. As it bears the letters ‘VR’ it was manufactured during the Reign of Queen Victoria [1850s - 1901]. so it is more than one hundred years old.

The letters are called the “Royal Cypher” and they signify the King or Queen that was the monarch at the time when the postbox was erected.

A postbox known in the United States and Canada as collection box, mailbox, letter box, or drop box is a physical box into which members of the public can deposit outgoing mail intended for collection by the agents of a country's postal service. The term post box can also refer to a private letter box for incoming mail.

Introduced well over 150 years ago by the novelist, Anthony Trollope, who worked for the Post Office in Ireland for several years, the letter box is an instantly recognised symbol of the Post Office. The intention was to make it easier for people to post their letters and make it unnecessary for them to have to wait for a post office to open. The first boxes appeared on the streets of cities like Dublin, Belfast and Cork over 150 years ago and were subsequently introduced elsewhere. The big pillar boxes were soon joined by smaller boxes that fitted into walls and later by lamp boxes which were cheaper to make and could be attached to lamp and telegraph poles.

Quite apart from their decorative and utilitarian qualities, Irish post boxes have symbolic value too. Before Irish independence post boxes were red but one of the first acts of the new Irish Government was to order that green would be the new colour for Post Office letter boxes. Sometimes a bit of red paint still shows through! The symbols of the past – in the form of crowns and royal insignia – take their place alongside the signs of independence – Saorstát Eireann, P&T and An Post.

In the United Kingdom all post boxes display the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch at the time of manufacture. Exceptions are the Anonymous pillar boxes of 1879–1887, where the cypher was omitted, and all boxes for use in Scotland manufactured after 1952 (including replicas of the 1866 Penfold design) which show the Queen's Crown of Scotland instead of the Royal Cypher for Elizabeth II. Private boxes emptied by Royal Mail do not have to carry a cypher. Royal Mail post boxes manufactured since 1994 carry the wording "Royal Mail", normally above the aperture (lamp boxes) or on the door (pillar boxes). Before this date all post boxes, with the exception of the Anonymous pillar boxes, carried the wording "Post Office".