Sunday, August 7, 2011

South Africa's oldest letter box

The oldest official letter box in South Africa stands on the corner Worcester Street and Somerset Street in Grahamstown.  The box is painted in the traditional Post Office red (Although there was some ugly blue graffiti on it during my visit.  That is why the picture was taken from the wrong side with the sun in front of me) and is a fluted pillar box type which was manufactured between 1857 and 1859. 

It bore the letters "VR" in curling script, denoting the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, but sadly some of the insignia was removed by vandals at some unknown stage.  To establish its true origins would require digging at the base of the post box, but disturbing the soil that has built up around its base since the 1860's could cause the whole receptacle to collapse.  It must surely rank among the top twenty of the world's traditional "red box" survivors.


  1. Interesting but why vandals enjoy defacing history beats me!! Diane

  2. Nice closeups. Too bad about the vandalism. I saw one of these post boxes in Pilgrims Rest.