diamond geezer

 Sunday, February 24, 2013

London's postcodes work roughly like this....
  • Outside central London there are six lettered zones - NW, N, E, W, SW and SE.
  • In each zone, postal district 1 is the closest to central London.
  • The other districts are numbered in alphabetical order.

    A schematic map of London's inner postcodes
    NW2 Cricklewood, NW3 Hampstead, NW4 Hendon, NW5 Kentish Town, NW6 Kilburn, NW7 Mill Hill, NW8 St John's Wood, NW9 The Hyde, NW10 Willesden, NW11 Golders Green
    NW1 North Western head district
    N2 East Finchley, N3 Finchley, N4 Finsbury Park, N5 Highbury, N6 Highgate, N7 Holloway, N8 Hornsey, N9 Lower Edmonton, N10 Muswell Hill, N11 New Southgate, N12 North Finchley, N13 Palmers Green, N14 Southgate, N15 South Tottenham, N16 Stoke Newington, N17 Tottenham, N18 Upper Edmonton, N19 Upper Holloway, N20 Whetstone, N21 Winchmore Hill, N22 Wood Green
    N1 Northern head district
    E2 Bethnal Green, E3 Bow, E4 Chingford, E5 Clapton, E6 East Ham, E7 Forest Gate, E8 Hackney, E9 Homerton, E10 Leyton, E11 Leytonstone, E12 Manor Park, E13 Plaistow, E14 Poplar, E15 Stratford, E16 Victoria Docks, E17 Walthamstow, E18 Woodford, E20 Olympic Park
    E1 Eastern head district
    W1 Western head district
    W2 Paddington, W3 Acton, W4 Chiswick, W5 Ealing, W6 Hammersmith, W7 Hanwell, W8 Kensington, W9 Maida Hill, W10 North Kensington, W11 Notting Hill, W12 Shepherds Bush, W13 West Ealing, W14 West Kensington
    WC1 WC2
    EC1 EC2 EC3 EC4
    SW1 South Western head district
    SW2 Brixton, SW3 Chelsea, SW4 Clapham, SW5 Earls Court, SW6 Fulham, SW7 South Kensington, SW8 South Lambeth, SW9 Stockwell, SW10 West Brompton
    /SW11 Battersea, SW12 Balham, SW13 Barnes, SW14 Mortlake, SW15 Putney, SW16 Streatham, SW17 Tooting, SW18 Wandsworth, SW19 Wimbledon, SW20 West Wimbledon
    SE1 South Eastern head district
    SE2 Abbey Wood, SE3 Blackheath, SE4 Brockley, SE5 Camberwell, SE6 Catford, SE7 Charlton, SE8 Deptford, SE9 Eltham, SE10 Greenwich, SE11 Kennington, SE12 Lee, SE13 Lewisham, SE14 New Cross, SE15 Peckham, SE16 Rotherhithe, SE17 Walworth, SE18 Woolwich
    /SE19 Norwood, SE20 Anerley, SE21 Dulwich, SE22 East Dulwich, SE23 Forest Hill, SE24 Herne Hill, SE25 South Norwood, SE26 Sydenham, SE27 West Norwood, SE28 Thamesmead

  • The London postal district system was introduced by Rowland Hill in 1857. [map]
  • Originally there were ten districts - WC, EC and the eight compass points. Each stretched out approximately 12 miles from the central post office (near St Paul's Cathedral) [map]
  • SW was, and remains, the only London postal district to cross the Thames.
  • In 1866 Anthony Trollope merged the NE and E districts under E. He also nudged in the outer boundary, removing Ilford, Romford and Dagenham from the system. NE would later be used for Newcastle.
  • In 1868 he abolished the S district by splitting it between SW and SE. S would later be used for Sheffield. [map]
  • In 1917, to improve wartime efficiency, the eight postal districts were subdivided and numbered. The head post office in each district was coded 1, then the remaining areas were numbered in alphabetical order of the main delivery office. [map]
  • Because W1 (the West End) was so important, the western head district (in Paddington) got to be W2 instead.
  • SW had two head districts (inner southwestern and outer southwestern) so had two alphabetical lists, one for SW1–SW10 and another (starting in Battersea) for SW11–SW20.
  • SE also comprised two alphabetical lists, the inner district being SE1-SE18 and the outer district being SE19-SE27.
  • Multi-character postcodes were introduced across London in the 1970s, each starting with the three or four characters of the existing district code.
  • Ten postcode areas have been further subdivided by adding another letter on the end. These are E1, N1, W1, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, WC1, WC2 and SW1.
  • New code SE28 was carved out of SE2 and SE18 when Thamesmead was built. The only other fresh code is E20, created in 2011 for the Olympic Park, and formerly part of E15. There is no E19.
  • The only London boroughs entirely covered by "compass point" postcodes are Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster. Meanwhile Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Hillingdon and Sutton lie entirely outside the London postal district.
  • Sewardstone, an Essex village north of Chingford, is the only place outside the Greater London boundary but within the London postal district.
  • The outer London postal region includes postcodes AL, BR, CR, DA, EN, HA, IG, KT, RM, SM, TW, UB and WD.
  • If the NE postcode still existed, it would contain modern postcodes E2, E4, E5, E8, E9, E10, E11, E17 and E18. An NE street sign remains on Victoria Park Road in Hackney.
  • If the S postcode still existed, it would contain modern postcodes SW2, SW4, SW9, SW12, SW16 and SW17, plus SE5, SE11, SE17, SE19, SE21, SE24, SE24, SE25 and SE27 (I think).
  • Explore each postcode's heritage with the Museum of London's Postcodes Project.

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