Stamps in London have a rich and varied history, with numerous fascinating stories and collections to explore.
The history of stamps in London can be traced back to the early 19th century when the need for a more efficient way of sending mail became apparent.
Before the introduction of stamps, the cost of sending a letter was determined by its weight and distance, which made the process both complicated and expensive.
In 1837, the British postal system was reformed under the leadership of Rowland Hill, who proposed the introduction of pre-paid postage stamps.
The first stamps, known as the Penny Black and Twopenny Blue, were issued on May 6th, 1840, and quickly gained popularity among the public.
The Penny Black stamp featured the profile of Queen Victoria and was printed in black ink on a white background.
The Twopenny Blue stamp was printed in blue and also featured Queen Victoria’s profile. Both stamps were designed by the artist, William Mulready.
The introduction of stamps revolutionized the postal system, making it easier and more affordable for people to send letters and packages.
The popularity of the stamps led to the establishment of post offices throughout London and other major cities, and the growth of a postal network that connected people across the country.
Over the years, London has become a center for stamp collecting and trading.
Many famous stamp collectors, such as King George V and Queen Elizabeth II, have lived in London and have contributed to the growth of the hobby.
Today, London is home to several museums and exhibitions dedicated to the history of stamps and stamp collecting.
The British Postal Museum and Archive, located in London’s Clerkenwell district, houses a vast collection of stamps and postal artifacts, while the Philatelic Traders Society, based in the city’s West End, provides a platform for stamp collectors and traders to exchange ideas and resources.
Where Do You Get Stamps In London?
In London, there are various places where you can buy stamps. Here are some options:
- Post Offices: Post offices are the most convenient and reliable places to buy stamps in London. You can find a post office near you by using the Post Office Branch Finder tool on their website.
- Royal Mail Delivery Offices: Royal Mail Delivery Offices also sell stamps. You can find the nearest delivery office to you by using the Royal Mail’s Delivery Office Finder.
- Newsagents and Convenience Stores: Many newsagents and convenience stores sell stamps. You can look for a nearby newsagent or convenience store and check if they have stamps available.
- Online: You can also buy stamps online from the Royal Mail website or other online retailers such as Amazon or eBay.
- Remember, you can also buy stamps in bulk if you need them for business or for sending a large amount of mail.
What Do You Have To Keep In Mind Before Purchasing Stamps?
Here are a few notable facts and landmarks to keep in mind:
- The world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, was introduced in the UK in 1840. It featured a portrait of Queen Victoria and was printed in black ink on a white background. Today, the Penny Black is highly sought after by collectors and is considered a landmark in postal history.
- The British Museum has an extensive collection of stamps, including many rare and valuable items. Some of the most famous stamps in the collection include the Mauritius “Post Office” stamps, which were printed in 1847 and are among the most valuable stamps in the world.
- The Royal Philatelic Society London is one of the oldest and most prestigious philatelic societies in the world. Founded in 1869, the society has played a key role in promoting stamp collecting and postal history research.
- The Stanley Gibbons stamp shop in London is a must-visit destination for stamp collectors. Founded in 1856, the shop offers a vast selection of stamps and related items, as well as expert advice and appraisals.
- The London International Stamp Exhibition is a major event in the philatelic world, attracting collectors and dealers from around the globe. The exhibition is held every 10 years and features some of the world’s most rare and valuable stamps.
- The British Library holds a significant collection of philatelic material, including stamps, postcards, and related items. The library’s collection is particularly strong in the area of postal history and includes many rare and unique items.
Whether you are a serious collector or simply curious about the world of stamps, London is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in postal history and philately.
With its rich history, world-class collections, and vibrant stamp culture, London is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in this fascinating hobby.
How Much Do Stamps Cost?
The cost of a stamp is influenced by the size, weight, and urgency of your message.
For a letter that is 24cm long, 16.5cm wide, 5mm thick, and is meant to deliver the next working day, the cost is 95p, and if it is meant to deliver within three days, the cost is 68p.
Whereas, for a letter that is 35.3cm long, 25cm wide, 2.5cm thick, and is meant to deliver the next working day, the cost is £1.45, and if it is to be delivered within two or three working days, the cost is £1.05
Can You Buy Stamps At a Supermarket?
Some supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda sell stamps. You can check with your nearest supermarket if they have stamps available
These supermarkets have post offices or “Click & Collect” services that offer a range of postal services, including stamps.
Additionally, some supermarkets may have vending machines or kiosks that sell stamps.