The postcodes of London are a notorious fixation for Londoners. Decades of pomposity have centered on whether an area of residence has a postcode respected by the upper classes of London society or not.
Home prices in the capital are mostly expressed by locale and Londoners frequently pay over and beyond property values to acquire a home in a desirable post code.
Before the implementation of postal codes, London’s mail was typically addressed unclearly and it was uncertain whether or not mail would arrive on time, if at all.
When the population grew in the 1800s, it became necessary to have a more organized system and government officials made reforms. However, delivery issues persisted until one day when a former teacher came up with a solution.
Dividing the capital into separate districts, Sir Rowland Hill created a system that was based on compass points with a central office established for each district. Ten districts in all, the system was organized within a 12 mile radius from central London.
Londoners typically use post sub-districts as names of places in London- especially in the real estate market. For example, the location of a property might be described as being in EC1 (East Central London, sub-district 1) or W7 (West, sub-district 7)- particularly if the area is known as a great location, but the system also is used for lesser neighborhoods. Because of this, most classified ads for property and real estate agents refer to the post code of the area; this can be a bit confusing for those not native to London and accustomed to the system.
Here is a good example: SW1 3RN
The first portion of the above example references the general area that the property is in. You will almost always find this in classified ads. The second portion is the street and the location of the house number on that street.
The presentation of the postal districts on street signs in London is commonplace, although not universal as each borough is individually responsible for their own street signs.
The prefixes of the first part are straightforward (for example SW refers to South West) and give the general part of London, whereas the number gives a more specific location. However, geographically the numbering appears arbitrary as, for instance, NW1 is central whereas NW2 is far out and does not border NW1. This is because when the numbered system was first introduced in 1917, the postcodes numbered 1 (E1, NW1, W1, SW1, SE1) were most central and the subsequent numbers assigned alphabetically by the name of the district they represented. The exceptions to this are the central London postcodes of EC and WC (‘east central’, ‘west central’).
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.