Royal Mail Post Boxes

Discover a vast range of antique original Royal Mail post boxes at UKAA. Find our wide selection of refurbished Royal Mail post boxes which include pole mounted, floor standing and wall mounted post box options. All our antique post boxes have been in service with the Royal Mail and are traditional British items, some even dating back to Victorian times. Find your own Victorian post box today, ideal to use outside any property or home. Shop the full collection below.

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Antique Cast Iron Post Boxes

A national antique, the British post box is ideal for adding character to any property. Where possible, we keep their original cages, Chubb locks and keys, adding the utmost authenticity to your purchase. Choose from a pole, a floor standing or a wall mounted letterbox of your choice – not only perfect for your own property, but also extremely popular for wedding day decorations.

Frequently asked questions

How Do You Refurbish Antique Post Boxes?

Refurbished Antique Post Boxes

As the UK’s leading retailer for those wanting to purchase salvaged Royal Mail post boxes, our professional craftsmen have 50 years of experience in refurbishing them so they are restored to their former glory.

Original antique post boxes fully refurbished in our workshops

Find Fully Refurbished Vintage Post Boxes For Sale At UKAA

The process:

  1. We start by preparing the original surface ready for painting, by removing any loose paint and rust on the post box while keeping as much of the original paint and character as possible
  2. The post box is then painted using a rust inhibitor, then undercoated in a red oxide primer. Finally it is then hand painted in two top coats of post office red gloss. Some pillar boxes need to be sand blasted back to the bare metal, whereas others don’t require it.
  3. Any repairs or welding are also done at this stage, before painted with a rust inhibitor and then primed with at least three coats of red lead primer and then three coats of Post Office red top coat. Simply let us know if you’d like the lettering in Gold or Silver. The inside of the box is fully refurbished at this stage as well.

Edward 7th Old Royal Mail Post Box

All pillar boxes come with a pot of red paint so that you can touch up the paint after it has been placed into position. In addition to this, most pillar boxes come with its original lock and key or some may have been fitted with new ones – so they’re fully functioning.

Antique Post Boxes For Sale

Can I View Your Antique Post Boxes In Person?

When people visit our reclamation yard, the first thing many comment on is how much of the pillar box is buried in the ground, they’re positioned so that 6 inches of the black is visible at the base.

Cast iron Royal Mail Post Box

What Can I Use An Antique Post Box For?

Pillar boxes have been reclaimed and restored not only for use as it was intended when first made, but also examples have been used as a 'Laundry Shute'! However most pillar boxes that get rehomed are used to collect mail. This is especially useful if you spend few weeks at a time away from your home as it is a safe way of handling weeks of post. It is secure, eliminates build up inside your home and hides the fact that you are not in residence.

Original Royal Mail Post Box For Sale

What Are The Different Types Of Antique Post Boxes?

Types of Antique Cast Iron Post Boxes

Here at UKAA, find a large selection of wall mounted post boxes, post mounted post boxes, arched back and pillar boxes. The wall mounted post boxes can be fitted into gate pillars or walls and we also occasionally get some boxes with a front and rear door. These enable you to collect your mail from inside your property. The original use of a wall mounted post box with a rear door was so that the post master of a post office could collect the mail from the inside of the shop.

'VR' 'ER' ''GR' are the most sought after with the more modern bullet shape pillar boxes now gaining in popularity.

Original antique bullet shape pillar box fully refurbished in our workshops

If you have a Victorian property then a 'VR' pillar box would suit the property as would 'GR' pillar boxes suit a Georgian property.

Reclaimed VR Royal Mail pillar boxes

We can paint a pillar box in a bespoke colour of your choice. A particular highlight being, painting pillar boxes gold and silver for an Olympic medal winners Ruta Meilutyte and Tom Daley!

Olympic winners original British post boxes painted gold

We have also painted pillar boxes for conservation areas and National trust properties. Above all else to have a British Icon in your garden or entrance is not only heart-warming, but a worthwhile investment.

Antique cast iron post boxes specialist fully refurbished for delivery to your door

VR Victorian Post Boxes pillar box

Today you can buy from us:

  • ER II Wall Boxes
  • ER II Pole Mounted Boxes
  • GR 6th Wall Boxes
  • GR 6th Pillar Boxes
  • GR Wall Boxes
  • GR Pillar Boxes
  • ER II Pillar Boxes
  • ER 7th Wall Boxes
  • ER 7th Pillar Boxes
  • VR Wall Boxes
  • VR Pillar Boxes
  • Irish Wall Mounted Post Boxes
What Is The History Of Antique Post Boxes

History of Royal Mail Post Boxes

The Royal Mail letter box was introduced following the 1840 postal reform, which provided for a universal affordable postage rate. This was easily pre-payable by means of the new adhesive stamps. However, letters still had to be taken to the nearest letter receiving office, which could be miles away. This led to the need for many more convenient places where stamped letters could be posted.

The novelist Anthony Trollope, who was a General Post Office (GPO) official, provided the solution: trialling the continental system of placing locked cast-iron pillar boxes at the roadside and the provision of regular collection times. The first Royal Mail pillar boxes were erected in the Channel Islands in 1852 and extended to the mainland in 1853.

The first letter boxes were hexagonal, but a wide variety of other designs quickly appeared. In 1859, an improved cylindrical design was created for standard use nationwide. This design had its posting aperture positioned beneath a cap for greater protection from rainwater. This standardised design of 1859 was itself soon followed by a variety of new designs: the elegant hexagonal Penfold box with a cap decorated with acanthus leaves (1866); a simple pillar surmounted by a cap with a dentil frieze around its edge (1879); and a large oval version of the simple pillar box form with separate apertures for town and country letters (1899).

Original first British post box made for the Channel Islands in 1852

Originally, they were painted green but this changed in 1874 as people had difficulty finding them. The cipher on the front of the pillar box signifies during which reign the box was made; they can be VR, ER 7th, GR, GR 6th and ER II.

From 1857 wall box-type letter boxes came into use for fixing into existing walls. Small lamp-post boxes were first introduced in 1896 for use in London squares and later in other areas, particularly rural locations. By 1860 over 2,000 roadside letter boxes had been set up in all parts of the United Kingdom; by the end of the century there were over 33,500, with many more found throughout the British Empire.

Notable Manufacturers
Some of the more notable manufacturers of pillar boxes include:
John M Butt & Company
Andrew Handyside of Derby
Smith & Hawkes
Cochrane & Company
H & M D Grissell
Suttie & Company
Cochrane, Grove & Company
H & C Smith
W T Allen & Company
James Ludlow
Eagle Range & Foundry Company
Derby Castings
Vandyke Engineers Of Harlow
Carron Company

Vintage post boxes for sale

More Information On Royal Mail Post Boxes In The UK

Royal Mail letter boxes are a cherished feature of the British street scene. As well as being in daily operational use for an essential public service, they are national icons and a highly distinctive part of our environment. Currently there are over 85,000 in England alone. The vast majority make a very significant contribution to the character and appearance of the areas in which they are located. Since 1852, the main changes have been those of design and manufacture. Experimental designs have included a rectangular shape of 1968 and a radically different cylindrical design of 1980. However, new pillar-type letter boxes presently being produced reflect the same design and patterns that have served so well for 123 years: a simple cast-iron pillar with a cap and a double aperture oval box for town and city centre use.

Antique Cast Iron Post Boxes

Decoration and maintenance

All Royal Mail letter boxes would have been painted in standard red and black livery. No variation was allowed, except in very exceptional circumstances where there are genuine historical reasons, such as the use of green and black livery for some early boxes or Air Force blue for surviving George VI airmail boxes. Letter boxes are painted every three years. Local circumstances may require some boxes to be painted more frequently (e.g. locations – such as coastal sites – where abnormal levels of deterioration occur). All paint must be lead-free and of the correct specification (Royal Mail red, colour ref no. 538 BS381C and Black, colour ref no. 00E53, BS4800).

Antique Reclaimed British Royal Mail Hovis Top Post Box]

Salvaged Fully Refurbished Old Letters Only Royal Mail Post Boxes

Salvaged Cast Iron Post Boxes For Sale

Antique Letter Boxes in stock at UKAA

Can You Deliver The Antique Post Boxes And Pillar Boxes Abroad?

UKAA offer a worldwide shipping service on our Royal Mail post boxes and all our products, meaning that wherever you are located, you can use your outdoor post box to add charisma to any property. If you need any more information on our Royal Mail boxes, please contact a member of our friendly customer services team on 01543 222 923.

Antique Post Box and Royal Mail Pillar Boxes can be Packaged in a Crate For Delivery Worldwide From UKAA

More Images Of Antique Post Boxes

Old Cast Iron Post Boxes For Sale

Georgian Royal Mail Post Boxes

Elizabethan ERII Vintage Post Boxes For Sale

Antique Cast Iron Post Boxes

ERII Queen Elizabeth Old Royal Mail Post Box

Victorian Post Boxes Painted For Olympic Winner Tom Daley Here In Our Workshops

Cast Iron Royal Mail Post Box Used In The Post Office With A Back Door

Original Cast Iron Post Boxes For Sale

British Post Box For Your Wall

Antique Cast Iron Post Boxes

Antique Royal Mail Pillar Boxes For Sale

Buy Victorian Pillar Box And Post Boxes From UKAA

Antique Victorian Post Boxes

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