You’ll surely recognise this as a letter box. Where is it, why is it that shape, and why green to boot?
It is a Penfold letter box in Haslemere’s High Street. It is a replica of a mid Victorian design and was installed in 1994. The designer of the Penfold letter box was John Penfold, born and resident in Haslemere. The box is coloured green, as it was prior to the the standardisation of red in 1874.
It’s almost impossible to beat commenter Speedicus Triplicatum in my Photo Quiz. His comment, shown below, is so thorough I’ll not bother to add much to it.
Its a Penfold design (circa 1866):
Penfold’s box – or the Penfold, as it became known – combined simple design with functionality. Hexagonal in shape, it was adorned with acanthus leaves and balls, a far less ornate design than some of the elaborately decorative boxes which had come before it. But the cost of producing Penfolds was high, and a cheaper and plainer standard box was introduced 13 years later.
However, many of the features initiated with the Penfold boxes remain in use. Penfolds were produced in different size to accommodate different volumes of mail, as pillar boxes still are to this day, and Penfolds were also the first boxes to be manufactured in the new standard colour of red, in 1874.
Such is the popularity of Penfolds that the BPMA and Royal Mail frequently receive correspondence from members of the public who wish to see damaged boxes in their area repaired, rather than replaced with a new box. Some original Penfolds are considered so significant that they are listed, giving them special protection under the law.