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The Postal Museum


In Brief


Client:
The Postal Museum

Location:
London

Construction value: 
£25 million (with Mail Rail)

Completion:
2017

FCBStudios acted as lead designer for the £26m project. Backed by the HLF, The Postal Museum at Mount Pleasant has relocated and extended to open a stretch of the historic underground Mail Rail to the public for the very first time.

The new attraction will significantly increase public access to a major part of our national history, presenting the rich story of communication, industry and innovation in one of Britain’s most important global services.

Snaking 70 feet below ground, from Paddington to Whitechapel, lies one of London’s most hidden secrets – a historic underground railway system.

Commissioned in London at the turn of the 20th century, at a time when fog and heavily congested streets caused huge delays to the transportation of mail, the underground network connected west and east London and was the first driverless electric railway in the world.

Opened on 5 December 1927, the tunnels remained in use for almost a century. At its peak six million bags of mail were carried below ground each year delivering 4 million letters a day. Despite this, the railway was too expensive to run compared to road transport and it eventually closed in 2003. 

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Click here to watch 3D visualisation of the redundant underground space


The Postal Museum


The Postal Museum holds nationally important archive and museum collections


The Postal Museum cares for the visual, physical and written records of five centuries of postal heritage.

The development involved the repair and reuse of Calthorpe House, an existing inter-war building, introducing environmental upgrades to the building fabric and new extensions to provide accommodation for the conservation, archiving and research facilities of the collection.

An interactive exhibition space showcases nationally important collections, including the earliest roadside pillar box as well as unique and priceless sheets of Penny Black stamps.

The Postal Museum

Quote


The Postal Museum

“...an integral part of the story of how the Post Office continuously explored pioneering ideas to speed delivery of letters and parcels, and keep us all in touch.”