Uckfield (East Sussex) Receiving Houses
||I have an 1823 entire with a blue "Uckfield Penny Post" (County Catalogue SX 1236) backstamp, and a type 53 (ie boxed) RH stamp "No 1" in black on the front.
The letter was written from Ripe (a village a few miles SE of Uckfield)
Does anyone know if Ripe was a receiving house for Uckfield, or if not, which Uckfield RH was No 1 ?
Several Uckfield RHs are referred to in the County Catalogue, but No 1 just has the entry "seen 1824"
|28 Aug 11
||We are not experts here, so don't know if this is going to be of any help,
but at least you know we have looked and tried to help
in the Alan Robertson book, it just says that Uckfield had 12 Penny Post
offices, but does not name them.
In the G.F. Oxley book he lists the offices, but Ripe is not one of them,
and they are not allocated a number.
These are the offices listed under the heading Post Towns, sub-Post Towns
and their Receiving Offices :-
Then listed under the heading Post Town, sub Post Town and Receiving office
Under the Type or Fig. No. column, the only number '1' is given to
Uckfield, but we think this may refer to the type of name stamp of the
Receiving House, and not the number of the office.
Ron & Eunice
|29 Aug 11
||Many thanks Ron and Eunice.
Yes, I found the reference in Oxley also.
Why a letter written in Ripe should go through Uckfield is in itself strange.
Ripe isn't very near any of the ROs listed, in fact in 1823, if one were in Ripe, it would be easier to get to Lewes by travelling west along the road at the foot of the South Downs. Access to the Uckfield area would be across the notorious coach-trapping Wealden clays.
As the yokel said when asked for directions, "If Oi were a-going to Lunnon Oi wouldn't start from here"
|31 Aug 11
This goes under the case of 'local knowledge' we think. We have a set of
letters written to a lady in Hathersage, and the postmarks all link to Bakewell, whereas we thought it would be much more sensible to be linked with Sheffield.
When we queried this with someone who was also interested in Hathersage postal history, she said that Bakewell was never cut off in
the winter, whereas the route to Sheffield was regularly blocked off with snowfalls.
She said that her grandmother used to walk that route so she knew all about it.
We are surprised that there are not more replies to queries on postal history within the GBPS list here, but Ron's queries on King Edward 8th brought forth a flurry of responses.
We have never had any reply to our query about the charge marks on letters from Ireland to Britain, and we were sure we would have had access to a lot of knowledgeable collectors in the Society.
We have a fair number of old letters, which we have tended to file under postmark types and Eunice has a lot of her articles about the letters on our website at
We are always interested in all aspects of G.B. postal history and if you want to share your expertise we would welcome exchanges of information.
Perhaps off line?
Eunice and Ron
|3 Sep 11
We have found this problem before.
When we put our website on it takes the next word after the url so making it invalid.
I have tried just typing it in rather than cut and paste and hope it comes up OK
Ron and Eunice.
|3 Sep 11
||Thanks Ron & Eunice
As you say, local knowledge. The OS map of 1813 seems to confirm that the then road from Ripe to Lewes was easier (and shorter) than that to Uckfield.
However, looking at a website re the history of Ripe yields the information that the local post went through "Hurst-Green" (that is not the village the other side of Eastbourne but a hamlet near Cross-in-Hand, a village on the Wealden ridge and an RH for Uckfield, although according to Oxley this RH used a No 5 stamp) Not easy of access from Ripe, especially in the winter.
Thus the RH mark "No 1" may possibly refer to Cross-in-Hand ("Hurst-Green") or perhaps an RH in Uckfield itself.
Another point of interest is the charge - "8" in manuscript, consistent with a distance of 50 to 80 miles at 1823 rates. At first sight, this seems rather generous, as the distance from Uckfield to London was considered to be 41 miles, and Ripe is a bare 7 miles further. However, via Cross-in-Hand the total Ripe-London distance would exceed 50 miles. A bit tenuous, but evidence of a sort.
Now looking for more material from the Uckfield area- and hoping a specialist Postal Historian will respond......
|3 Sep 11
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