Oxford post boxes: Victorian
Oxford has fourteen surviving Victorian post boxes. The oldest is the pillar box in Park Town, which dates from between 1866 and 1868.
All are embossed with the entwined letters “VR” except for the two so-called “anonymous” boxes.
Webster’s Oxford Directory for 1869 is the first directory that lists Oxford postboxes. There were then four Receiving Offices (R.O.) and only eight postboxes:
Time of collection from Receiving Offices,
St Clement’s R.O.; Marston Street; High Street; Holywell St R.O.; Magdalen Street; and Littlegate Street—
|Park Crescent ; Woodstock Road; St Giles Road R.O.; Walton Street; High Street St Thomas R.O.; and Osney—|
Town letters can be posted at the Chief Office at the Town Hall, until 6.30am, 12noon, and 5.30pm
The first Kelly’s Directory for Oxford was published in 1889–90, and lists 23 letter boxes in the city, all of which were emptied about a dozen times a day between 4.30am and 10.00pm. (The city at that date did not include Headington or Cowley, which would probably have only had receiving offices then).
Here is a list of the 1889 Oxford postboxes (the five in bold marked with * still exist):
King Edward Street
St Aldate’s Street
St Margaret’s Road*
South Parks Road*
St Clement’s (at the Plain)