London postal district

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The London postal district is the area in England, currently of 241 square miles (620 km2),[1] to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856[2] and throughout its history has been subject to periodic reorganisation, contraction and division into increasingly smaller postal units. It was integrated into the national postcode system of the United Kingdom during the early 1970s[3] and now corresponds to the N, NW, SW, SE, W, WC, E and EC postcode areas.[4] The postal district has also been known as the London postal area and as the inner area of the London postal region.[1]




By the 1850s, the rapid growth of the metropolitan area meant it became too large to efficiently operate as a single post town.[3] A Post Office inquiry into the problem had been set up in 1837 and a House of Commons committee was initiated in 1843.[5] In 1854 Charles Canning, the Postmaster General, set up a committee at the Post Office in St. Martin's Le Grand to investigate how London could best be divided for the purposes of directing mail. In 1856, of the 470 million items of mail sent in the United Kingdom during the year, approximately one fifth (100 million) were for delivery in London and half of these (50 million items) also originated there.[5]

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