Queen Victoria Penfold Pillar Box in Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Reference LS29 842 – May 2012
Ilkley is a Spa Town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The town centre is characterised by the Victorian architecture nestled under Ilkley Moor. There are links to a Roman Fort that people believe might be Olicana dating back to 79AD though the history of Ilkley and the surrounding area goes back even further to about 11,000BC. More information can be found about Ilkley at
I lived in Ilkley from 1990-1991 and I worked in Ilkley from 1993 to 2000 and must have driven past this pillar box hundreds of times on my way home. I knew it was a fancy one but never thought anything of it. When I took Mr C to see this, I did think this was still the original but I now know the true story of this pillar box, the following information from April 2005 was found at:
At the junction with Middleton Road and Denton Road is a 1930s K6 type telephone Kiosk and a grade II listed hexagonal Penfold-type pillar-box.
The original pillar-box was made during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1875 and originally sited at Peel Place in Bradford city centre. Peel Place was redeveloped in 1925 and the pillar-box moved to Middleton, which at the time lacked such a facility.
244 items were posted in the pillar-box within a week of it being re-sited. By 1971, it was one of only two post boxes of this kind in Yorkshire, the other being at Sheffield Railway Station. The present post box is a reconstruction of the original, which was recently destroyed, in a motoring accident.
The pillar box on the corner of Middleton Road and Denton Road is a Grade II listed structure. This box is actually a reconstruction of the original box, which was destroyed recently after being hit by a vehicle. The townscape value of structures such as this, which is a particularly rare example of a hexagonal pillar box is high and presumption will always be given in favour of their retention.
Ilkley Lido is only a couple of minutes walk from this post box, the Lido was opened in 1935 as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations for King George V and is still a much loved part of summer life to people from Ilkley and the surrounding towns.
Just keep remembering that history is all around you… look up, look down, look all around!