Pillar Box



An iconic feature of British Streets is the red pillar box to post letters – there are more than 100,000 of them. In 1852 the now famous novelist Anthony Trollop was sent to the British Channel Islands by the founder of the Universal Penny Post, Sir Rowland Hill.  His task was to find a convenient way for islands to organize their mail ships.  Up to that point mail had to be taken to the local post office which people complained about, so Trollop came up with the idea of the free standing cylindrical box with a slot in it.  The first pillar box was installed on the Island of Jersey in 1852. The first in London was in 1855. Until 1874 there was no standard colour but that is when “pillar box red” was introduced to provide maximum visibility. The red pillar box became such a symbol of the British Post Office that when the Republic of Ireland was created in the 1920s it repainted all of its boxes green to show independence from the UK.