A 'Penfold' Pillar Box at Budby

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'A 'Penfold' Pillar Box at Budby' page

Picture taken januray 1982 by Malcolm Marples

Brief History

By M & P Marples

The Penfold pillar box was named after Mr J W Penfold an architect and surveyor employed by the Post Office in 1865. The post Master General selected one of his designs for a new standard pillar box and though tenders were invited from a number of iron founders, only three responded. Cochrane, Grove and Company won the contract. These pillar boxes first produced in 1866 were in large, medium and small sizes with four later versions having slight modifications in design, i.e. changes to the position of the aperture, collection plate, and Royal Cypher.

The box at Budby is a medium size, first version.

A number of the original Penfold pillar boxes can still be discovered around the country, but do look closely as replica Penfolds have now been produced, these are often situated in places with an historical interest such as Lincoln and Sheffield Cathedrals. These replicas have a plaque on the front base to signify this.

More information on letter boxes can be discovered in books such as 'The letter Box' by Jean Young Farrugia, and 'Old Letter Boxes' by Martin Robinson,


from The Letter Box Study Group  www.lbsg.org  who use a Penfold pillar box as their logo. 





This page was added by Pauline Marples on 04/02/2015.
Comments about this page

Thank you for this record of the Budby 'Penfold' pillar box - a relatively rare and beautiful survivor.  Later on, villages weren't usually accorded actual pillar boxes: they would more likely have a 'Lamp Box' which were cheaper to make and install.  A couple of additional points about Penfolds: The interesting design on the top is representative of acanthus leaves; and originally, I understand, each Penfold cost the GPO £3

By Jon Steel
On 03/01/2017

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