Postal addresses: a little history and a lot of photos

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright February 2014, Chris Downer; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


The NN area relates to Northampton and neatly contains all of Northamptonshire's post towns. Numbering in Northampton itself is straightforward, with NN1 in the town centre, 2-5 spiralling around the suburbs and 6-7 being the northern and southern outlying villages. Numbers then continue to 18 covering the other post towns, and then WELLINGBOROUGH has the additional non-consecutive NN29 which was originally part of NN9.

NN1-7 postal address NORTHAMPTON
SP7560 : View from the Grosvenor Centre by Alan Murray-Rust SP7561 : Northampton: Catholic cathedral church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Thomas of Canterbury by Chris Downer SP7962 : Weston Favell Shopping Centre by Burgess Von Thunen SP7559 : South Bridge by Burgess Von Thunen
SP7262 : Hawksmoor Way by Kokai SP6267 : Long Buckby-High Street by Ian Rob SP8118 : Five Elms Inn and cottage at Weedon by John Firth

NN8-9 postal address WELLINGBOROUGH, Northants.
NN10 postal address RUSHDEN, Northants.
(separated from WELLINGBOROUGH, in May 1993)
NN11 postal address DAVENTRY, Northants.
NN12 postal address TOWCESTER, Northants.
NN13 postal address BRACKLEY, Northants.
SP8967 : Wellingborough - west end of Church Street by Dave Bevis SP9972 : Brook Street, Raunds, Northants by Gordon Cragg SP9566 : Rushden Council Buildings by Chris Cursley
SP5762 : Daventry: High Street and Market Square and market cross by In Depth SP6948 : Watling Street passes Towcester Town Hall by Stuart Logan SP5837 : New shops and flats in Brackley High Street by Daniel Ryce

NN14-16 postal address KETTERING, Northants.
NN17-18 postal address CORBY, Northants.
NN29 postal address WELLINGBOROUGH, Northants.

SP8181 : The Market House, Rothwell by Stuart Shepherd SP8977 : Poplar's Farm Road by Alex McGregor SP8678 : Market Square by Burgess Von Thunen
SP8888 : Near Corby Town Centre by Tim Heaton SP8887 : Burghley Drive, Corby by Stephen McKay SP8864 : High Street, Great Doddington by Kokai

There is also the non-geographic postcode district for large users, NN99 (post town NORTHAMPTON).


NP refers to Newport and covers the majority of Gwent plus a small part of Powys.

We have already seen that central Newport was originally given the code NPT while the other districts were numbered NP1-8, and that in 1984 that central district was re-coded to NP9 to remove the anomalous format. That explains why the city centre was not numbered 1; however, today's map of Newport postcodes looks fairly random this is because the area was overhauled in December 1998 as follows:

* CWMBRAN had already been re-coded NP44, split from the original NP4.

At the same time, the Bedwas and Machen area of the old NP1 was transferred from NEWPORT into CAERPHILLY (CF).

NB Royal Mail ceased the requirement for county names on addresses in 1996 and these were not updated after local government reorganisation of the following year. Therefore, Gwent and Powys remain correct county names.

NP4 postal address PONTYPOOL, Gwent
NP7 postal address ABERGAVENNY, Gwent
NP8 postal address CRICKHOWELL, Powys
NP10-11 postal address NEWPORT, Gwent
SO2800 : Commercial Street, Pontypool by Kev Griffin SO3014 : Cross Street, Abergavenny by John Baker SO2118 : Crickhowell town centre by andy dolman ST2787 : Caerphilly Road, Bassaleg by Jaggery ST2096 : Junction of Tynewydd Terrace and High Street, Newbridge by Jeremy Bolwell

NP12 postal address BLACKWOOD, Gwent
NP13 postal address ABERTILLERY, Gwent
NP15 postal address USK, Gwent
NP16 postal address CHEPSTOW, Gwent
ST1797 : Blackwood High Street by Alex McGregor SO2104 : Abertillery from a Paraglider by Graham Richards SO3700 : Usk: Twyn Square from the southeast corner by Chris Downer ST5394 : Chepstow Castle and the Bridge Inn by Roy Parkhouse

NP18-20 postal address NEWPORT, Gwent
NP22 postal address TREDEGAR, Gwent
NP23 postal address EBBW VALE, Gwent
ST3390 : Junction of High Street with road to Roman amphitheatre by Nick Smith ST3388 : Mansel Street, Newport by Jaggery ST3188 : Newport: north end of Commercial Street by Chris Downer SO1409 : Commercial Street, Tredegar by Robin Drayton SO1609 : Market Street clock, Ebbw Vale by Jaggery

NP24 postal address NEW TREDEGAR, Gwent
NP25 postal address MONMOUTH, Gwent
NP26 postal address CALDICOT, Gwent
NP44 postal address CWMBRAN, Gwent

SO1403 : View over New Tredegar by Robin Drayton SO5012 : Monnow Bridge by Pauline E ST4888 : Castle interior and bridge view by Chris Downer ST2995 : Gwent Square, Cwmbran by Jaggery


NR stands for Norwich and this postcode area covers central, northern and eastern Norfolk along with the northeast corner of Suffolk. The numbering follows a largely logical pattern a clockwise spiral from Norwich city centre around the suburbs, then around the outlying villages, and finally around the various other post towns.

NR1-5 postal address NORWICH
TG2308 : Norwich: cathedral church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity by Chris Downer TG2208 : Norwich Market And City Hall by Keith Evans TG2309 : River Wensum by N Chadwick TG1905 : Hall with Moat, Cringleford by Mark Boyer TG1710 : Three Mile Lane by N Chadwick

NR6-10 postal address NORWICH
TG2312 : Road from St Margaret's Church, Catton, Norfolk by John Salmon TG2610 : Cottages in South Hill Road, Thorpe St Andrew by Evelyn Simak TG1715 : View along Dewray Drive by Evelyn Simak TG0202 : Georgian Houses by Evelyn Simak TG2322 : View towards the former Buxton Water Mill by Evelyn Simak

NR11-16 postal address NORWICH
TG1926 : Aylsham Market Place by Jonathan Billinger TG3830 : Happisburgh and eroding cliffs by Jim Whiteside TG4010 : Village centre, Acle by Colin Park
TG2602 : Terraced cottages in Blackthorn Way by Evelyn Simak TM2297 : The Street, Saxlingham Nethergate by Geographer TL9889 : Capturing the end of the rainbow by Evelyn Simak

NR17 postal address ATTLEBOROUGH, Norfolk
NR18 postal address WYMONDHAM, Norfolk
NR19-20 postal address DEREHAM, Norfolk
NR21 postal address FAKENHAM, Norfolk
TM0495 : Attleborough Town Sign by Keith Evans TG1001 : Wymondham Abbey in winter sunshine by Jack Smith TF9813 : Market Place, Dereham by Stephen McKay TG0420 : Heading northeast by Evelyn Simak TF9129 : Market Place, Fakenham by Stephen McKay

NR22 postal address WALSINGHAM, Norfolk
NR23 postal address WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA, Norfolk
NR24 postal address MELTON CONSTABLE, Norfolk
NR25 postal address HOLT, Norfolk
NR26 postal address SHERINGHAM, Norfolk
TF9336 : Water Pump, Little Walsingham by Philip Halling TF9143 : Wells-next-the-Sea: the quayside by Chris Downer TG0433 : Green and village sign by Evelyn Simak TG0738 : Market Cross by DS Pugh TG1543 : The Seaside town of Sheringham from Skelding Hill. by John Wernham

NR27 postal address CROMER, Norfolk
NR28 postal address NORTH WALSHAM, Norfolk
NR29-31 postal address GREAT YARMOUTH, Norfolk
TG2142 : Cromer town and pier from the beach by Peter Facey TG2830 : The market cross in North Walsham by Rod Allday TG4117 : Cottages at dawn on the River Thurne by Alan Hawkes TG5207 : Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth by Christine Johnstone TG5303 : Gorleston: the north end of the beach by Chris Downer

NR32-33 postal address LOWESTOFT, Suffolk
NR34 postal address BECCLES, Suffolk
NR35 postal address BUNGAY, Suffolk

TM5493 : London Road in Lowestoft by Steve Daniels TM5491 : Claremont Pier by Ashley Dace TM4290 : View from Beccles Church Tower 2 by Helen Steed TM3389 : Bungay: the Buttercross by Chris Downer

There is also the non-geographic postcode district for the Department for Work & Pensions, NR99 (post town NORWICH).


NW is for northwest that is, northwest London. We have already seen that London postcode districts are numbered alphabetically, according to their 1917 name, rather than geographically that is why they appear so randomly laid out when viewed on a map. Presumably NW11 was created subsequently, given its incorrect alphabetical position.

Those original names are noted below in brackets.

All districts have the postal address LONDON.
NW2 (Cricklewood)
NW3 (Hampstead)
NW4 (Hendon)
NW5 (Kentish Town)
TQ3082 : St Pancras railway station by Thomas Nugent TQ2385 : Cricklewood Broadway by Christopher Hilton TQ2785 : View along South End Road towards Hampstead Heath by Stephen Stachowiak TQ2289 : A corner on the A41, Hendon by Malc McDonald TQ2985 : The Assembly House pub, Kentish Town by Peter Whatley

NW6 (Kilburn)
NW7 (Mill Hill)
NW8 (St. John's Wood)
NW9 (The Hyde)
NW10 (Willesden)
NW11 (Golders Green)
TQ2584 : Iverson Road houses, London NW6 by Jaggery TQ2192 : The Broadway, Mill Hill by Martin Addison TQ2684 : Finchley Road by Ray Stanton
TQ2188 : Hyde House, NW9 by Robin Webster TQ2183 : Royal Oak, Harlesden by Martin Addison TQ2488 : Leeside Crescent, NW11 (2) by Mike Quinn

There is also the non-geographic postcode district for PO Boxes, NW26.


OL are the first two letters of Oldham: this area covers the northeast of Greater Manchester and also reaches Bacup and Todmorden. The post town TODMORDEN has the postal county Lancashire despite being in West Yorkshire.

NB In the Local Government Reorganisation of 1974, Greater Manchester was not adopted by Royal Mail and, as such, Lancashire remains the correct county name.

OL1-4 postal address OLDHAM
OL5-7 postal address ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE, Lancs.
SD9205 : Oldham - Tommyfield Market & Albion Street by Peter Whatley SD9207 : Fitton Street, Royton by Alexander P Kapp SD9807 : King Street, Delph by David Dixon SD9504 : Lees by Martin Clark
SD9702 : Market Street, Upper Mossley by Peter Turner SJ9399 : The Market Hall, Ashton-Under-Lyne by David Dixon SD9200 : Downing Street, Taunton by David Dixon

OL8-9 postal address OLDHAM
OL10 postal address HEYWOOD, Lancs.
OL11-12 postal address ROCHDALE, Lancs.
SD9203 : Copster Hill Road by Paul Anderson SD9105 : Manor Mill by Alan Murray-Rust SD8510 : Market Street Heywood by David Dixon SD8813 : River Roch by Dennis Turner SD8818 : View from embankment of Cowm Reservoir by Dr Neil Clifton

OL13 postal address BACUP, Lancs.
OL14 postal address TODMORDEN, Lancs.
OL15 postal address LITTLEBOROUGH, Lancs.
OL16 postal address ROCHDALE, Lancs.
SD8622 : Bacup, Rochdale Road by David Dixon SD9324 : Burnley Road by Gerald England SD9316 : Littleborough by Stanley Walker SD8913 : Rochdale Town Centre by David Dixon

There is also the non-geographic postcode district for British Gas, OL95 (post town OLDHAM).


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