The Postal Museum
The walls of the new Postal Museum house five centuries of stories and secrets – not just about post, not just about stamps, but about the remarkable people who made the Royal Mail what it is today. Stretching back to its birth during the reign of Henry VIII, the postal service has been intertwined with adventure, innovation and British identity. When opened to the public by Charles I, it enabled thoughts and opinions to reach across the world in ways that had been unimaginable, and thereby forever altered the course of human history. With the introduction of the Penny Black, the world’s first stamp, the postal service created a surge in literacy that was a harbinger of the modern era. It became a mainstay of civilisation that would be crucial for any functioning society – and demanded extraordinary ingenuity, diligence and speed from its workers as a result. Access All Areas is a History Hit TV Original series, going behind the scenes of some of the best history locations in Britain. In this fascinating episode, we hear stories of swashbuckling pirates, so-called ‘angels of death’, lions attacking mail carts and mail sent by rocket - as well as the development of the mail rail, a remarkable secret system of tunnels that runs underneath London to this day.