At first glance this is a pretty standard post box. You can guess that it's in a rural location, as it's set into the wall, rather than being one of the freestanding pillar boxes. But that isn't what sets it apart.
I bet you've spotted it, haven't you?
This box is GR, George Rex, rather than the more common ER, Elizabeth Regina.
This particular GR box was manufactured during the reign of George V (1910 - 1936), rather than our present Queen's father George VI (1936 - 1952). The clue is in the style of the lettering, which is far more plain for the earlier king.
Although GR boxes are rarer than ER, they are less rare than VR. VR boxes are the oldest. It was in 1840, during the reign of Queen Victoria, that postal reform first made postage rates affordable for ordinary people. Stamps could be purchased as proof of payment, but letters still needed to be taken to a post office; an inconvenience which could involve travelling some distance.
The solution was devised by Anthony Trollope, one of the most successful and respected English novelists of Victorian times, who also happened to be an official of the General Post Office. He suggested the placing of locked pillar boxes in locations convenient for residents to post their letters. Such post boxes would be emptied at set times. As a result, in 1853 the first pillar boxes appeared on our streets and they have been with us ever since, numbers currently standing at over 85,000 in England alone!
So, VR are the rarest, right? Actually, no. The rarest are EviiR. I'm sure that you can work out why. Yes?
While you're turning your thoughts to that one, why not wander over to Alphabe-Thursday at Jenny Matlock's to see what other G offerings people have posted today?
PS A blogging friend has had a photograph shortlisted in a Yorkshire Landscapes competition. Now it is down to a public vote to whittle the last hundred down to a short-shortlist. If you have a minute to spare, would you consider taking a look to see whether you think it's worthy of your vote? Her photo is here. Thank you :)