Belfast Telegraph

Listed status to be stamped on 140-year-old Lurgan postbox

By Stewart Robson

A Victorian-era postbox that has stood in Lurgan for nearly 140 years could receive listed status to ensure it is preserved.

The postbox is located on Market Street in the Co Armagh town.

It is regarded as one of the oldest free-standing postboxes in Northern Ireland.

Listed status is more commonly associated with historical buildings, but according to the Department for Communities it can be bestowed on any man-made structure.

The bright red box is nestled at the front of the Mechanics Institute and is believed to originate from the late 1800s.

The VR symbols above the slit represent the name 'Victoria' and 'Regina', which is Latin for queen.

If the listed status is approved, it will mean that the postbox cannot be altered in any way.

In May, 20 postboxes were given listed status with locations spanning across the country.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: "It (the postbox) is unusual as it is a design that was meant to be recessed within a wall, but for some reason was left fully exposed.

"We think there are only around 14 of these types in the whole of these islands.

"It was picked up by the Department for Communities as part of a systematic survey of historic buildings in Northern Ireland (Second Survey of Historic Buildings)."

A guidance document on the listing process for historic buildings and information on the survey is available on the department's website.

The spokesperson added: "These explain the history of the second survey, what listing means and the criteria for listing and the Principles of Conservation."

The first postboxes in Ireland were installed in 1855 in towns and cities including Belfast, Dublin and Ballymena.

Postboxes in the Republic were changed from red to green when it became an independent country.

St George's Market and the art deco style Bank of Ireland building on Royal Avenue are among buildings in Belfast that have been listed.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is expected to support the recommendation at its meeting later this month.

The department's final decision on whether the postbox will be listed isn't expected until the consultation process is finalised in September.

Belfast Telegraph

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