Secrets of Ivinghoe.
Secrets of around Ivinghoe.

Post Round

Nether Winchendon church and postbox

The Monday Photo

Here are two listed buildings for the price of one! The parish church of St. Nicholas in Nether (sometimes called Lower) Winchendon is 13th Century and Grade 1, but this stone pillar with a Victorian postbox is 20th Century and Grade 2. The pillar is what we are looking at today.

The pillar was designed by the noted architect Philip Tilden, probably while he was handling the restoration of the village’s ancient Nether Winchendon House.

It was erected in the middle of the village in the 1920s, on a grass triangle in the middle of the road junction. Older photos don’t show a postbox on the triangle, but old maps seem to show a postbox on the edge of the junction, perhaps where this postbox previously sat.

This postbox dates from about 1861, and is cast iron. It was made by Smith & Hawkes of Birmingham, and their name is cast into the bottom of the box. Boxes like this are long lasting and still fairly common.

Next time you post a letter, take a look at the postbox; letters on the box will tell you under which monarch the box was installed. There’s usually a crown; either between the letters or above them. The R either stands for Regina (Queens), or Rex (Kings).

These are the letters you’ll see on postboxes, and the dates those monarch reigned, although the first boxes under Queen Victoria were not installed until 1853. Edward VIII boxes are very rare because he reigned for less than a year, and I’ve heard there’s just one example of those boxes in North Bucks.

VR                  1837 to 1901            Victoria 

ER VII            1901 to 1910            Edward VII

GR                  1910 to 1936            George V

ER VIII           1936 only                Edward VII

GR VII            1936 to 1952           George VI

ER II               1952 to date           Elizabeth II

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