Icons of England

The ICONS project aims to paint a virtual portrait of England through an exploration of everything that we cherish in our culture, from Stonehenge to the humble cup of tea.

You can visit the ICONS Online website at www.icons.org.uk to nominate your own icons and cast votes for or against a list of nominations compiled by the public.

There are many parts of postal heritage that could be considered 'icons'... the Penny Black, the Machin design (the Queen's head on today's stamps, probably the most reproduced portrait in human history), or the pillar box (but which type?). Many of the things which have successfully made it on the list of icons have featured on postage stamps. We have taken a look at some of the successful nominations, and found stamps in our collections that feature, or are linked to them.

Simply click on the images below to find out which icons have featured on British stamps over the years.

ICONS - A Portrait of England has been commissioned by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Image of Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

There is little doubt that Tenniel's drawings have helped make Alice in Wonderland an icon...

Image of Big Ben

Big Ben

One of the most recognised landmarks in England, Big Ben has stood proud for about 150 years...

Image of Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

This unmistakable English landmark was opened in 1894 and cost £42,000 to construct...

Image of The Bobby

The Bobby

The police force, often called the 'bobby' after Sir Robert Peel, have been in force since 1829...

Image of Bowler Hat

Bowler Hat

The bowler hat was designed in 1850 and took its name from the original makers of the hat...

Image of Cricket


Cricket...the gentleman's game. Can you imagine breaking for afternoon tea in any other sport?...

Image of Cup of Tea

Cup of Tea

Is there anything more English than a nice cup of tea? Actually, tea isn't English at all...

Image of Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is instantly recognisable for its theme tune, tardis, Daleks and the enigmatic Doctor...

Image of Domesday Book

Domesday Book

Following the Battle of Hastings, William The Conquerer commissioned a survey about the country he...

Image of Eden Project

Eden Project

The Eden Project in Cornwall opened its doors to the public in 2001. The project took about two and...

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