The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum
On 1st February 2016 the British Postal Museum (BPMA) and Archive became The Postal Museum (TPM). Calthorpe House is being developed for the new postal museum which will open in 2017 and will also feature tours of Mail Rail.

Image: Calthorpe House, site of new Postal Museum, London © Light Straw March 2012.
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When the former National Postal Museum (NPM) closed to the public in 1998 it combined with the Post Office Archives to form the Heritage unit of Royal Mail. In 2004 this unified archive and museum service became an independent charitable trust. The trust officially received a donation of the former NPM object collections, and took responsibility for managing The Royal Mail Archive (Public Records) on behalf of Royal Mail Group plc. Thus the British Postal Museum & Archive was the public identity of this trust, preserving a long and fascinating history of postal services.

By 2016 all of the Government's shareholdings in Royal Mail had been sold off, and it was appropriate that a new generic name for the Postal Heritage Trust was devised. From 1st February 2016, The Postal Museum became the new public identity of the trust. The Archive in the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre closed on 11th November 2016 in preparation for transfer to Calthorpe House.

The Postal Museum will encompass:

  • The Royal Mail Archive - which recognises five centuries of the British postal service.

  • The British Postal Museum Store - full of amazing objects which bring to life the story of communication in Britain and throughout the world.

  • A new Postal Museum in 2017

  • A new Mail Rail visitor attraction in 2017

The Postal Museum
Check the official Postal Museum website for all details.

Logo: The Postal Museum.
A Guide to The Archives

British postal services helped to shape the modern world. The Postal Museum works to make this human story of communication, industry, and innovation accessible to everyone.

A Guide to The Archive
Is the Royal Mail Archive the same thing as Post Office archives?

Yes! In 1635 King Charles I made his own mail delivery service available to the public. In 1660 The General Post Office was established to run this 'royal mail' service.

The Postal Museum will chart over 500 years of visual, written and physical items of postal development right up to the present Royal Mail Group plc of today.

Leaflet: A Guide to the Archive.

The Archive contains records of The Post Office and Royal Mail from 1636 to the present day, including:
Working files, minutes and reports;

  • Staff records (great for family history);

  • Wonderful visual records such as maps, posters, artwork and photographs;

  • Stamps of Great Britain from the Penny Black onwards, and original stamp artwork;

  • British postal markings from 1661 to the present day.

Work of The Archive

Work of The Archive
The Records Management team operate a records management service for Royal Mail Group, allowing the effective storage and retrieval of essential business information. Records management is also the first step in adding to the historic archive.

The Royal Mail Archive records the corporate history of The Post Office and the Royal Mail service over four hundred years. For most of this time the Post Office was a British government service, and so the archive is Public Record. This means it must be legally preserved and made available for everyone to use.


What about telecommunications archives?

The Post Office passed control of telecommunications to British Telecom (BT) in 1981. Most of the historical object and archive collections of The Post Office relating to telecommunications were transferred to BT in the 1990s.

For more information please visit

Please note: Some archives which refer to Post Office Telecommunications remain at The Royal Mail Archive, particularly high level Post Office minutes. If in doubt, please contact the Postal Museum before your visit.

Calthorpe House

"Royal Mail Group will grant a lease of 999 years for Calthorpe House, a property which will provide a secure foundation for the BPMA once redeveloped and extended. Agreements have been signed with Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd (POL) for a £6M long term, low interest loan to fund the conversion of Calthorpe House to meet the basic needs of the organisation. In addition, Royal Mail and POL are providing other support, including a £500,000 grant."
Calthorpe House
The future home of Postal Heritage was announced on 22nd March 2012. Calthorpe House is within the Mount Pleasant site in London.

Photo: Calthorpe House, 15-20 Phoenix Place © Light Straw April 2006.

Friends of The Postal Museum (FTPM)
[Previously Friends of BPMA]
Journal of The Friends of BPMA Newsletter of The BPMA Events Guide 2010
Earlier publications for Friends of The Postal Museum...

Images: Cross Post, BPMA Newsletter, BPMA Events Guide.
In December 2016, FTPM was in the process of being wound up, as a new membership scheme run by TPM was due to be launched as a feature of the new museum. 

The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA)
The BPMA website and archives will be available until all are transferred to The Postal Museum (circa 2017).

Mail Rail
Mail Rail
Mail Rail the new London attraction - Official opening due 28th July 2017.

Photo: Mail Rail in the final stages of decorating before opening © Light Straw Archive July 2017.
Design, images and text compiled by © Light-Straw. Page last updated 25th July 2017.

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