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The Postal Museum


In Brief


Client:
The Postal Museum

Location:
London

Construction value: 
£25 Million

Completion:
2017

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.

FCBStudios have led the £26m project, backed by the HLF, to rebuild and extend the Royal Mail Museum at Mount Pleasant and restore a stretch of the historic underground railway. 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.

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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 involves 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 will showcase 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.”


Mail Rail


The Post Office’s forgotten railway under Central London


From conception through to resurrection, the Mail Rail has many extraordinary stories including the storage of art during WW1 and is an integral part of how the Post Office continuously explored pioneering ideas to speed delivery.  

Visitors can board a train in the existing vaulted Car Depot structure and ride to Mount Pleasant, where audio and visual interpretations will describe this historic system.

We will be preserving the industrial feel of the Mail Rail and maintaining a light touch to ensure any new installations are reversible.

The Postal Museum