最能代表英国特点的二十六张风景邮票A-Z - 10 April 2012
When compiling an alphabetical series of stamps celebrating famous British landmarks, the letter X was always going to be a problem.
But the Royal Mail has delivered an intriguing solution — by using a picture of Bletchley Park, the top secret intelligence centre where the Nazi Enigma code was cracked during World War II.
The Buckinghamshire mansion contained a secret radio room under the water tanks in a turreted tower known as Station X, used to maintain contact with British embassies in Occupied Europe.
The Victorian building is featured on one of the 14 first-class stamps featuring the letters M to Z which go on sale today, completing a remarkable postal portrait of Britain.
The first 12 stamps in the series, covering A to L, were launched on the steps of 10 Downing Street (the ‘D’ stamp) last year by the Palace of Westminster postman, Martyn Hardy, and Prime Minister David Cameron.
A Royal Mail source said yesterday: ‘I’m not aware of anywhere beginning with an X in the UK, so we had to be a bit more creative. Some suggested King’s Cross station. But Station X is more appropriate because of its rich heritage in the war effort.’
Tourism Minister John Penrose said: ‘Royal Mail’s set of stamps is a brilliant celebration of all that’s great about the UK’s visitor attractions. It is a perfect complement to all that is happening in this Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year.’
Overlooking the A1, it is 66ft tall with a 177ft wingspan. Concrete foundations weighing 600 tonnes stop it blowing over
Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, it opened in 1894 when visitors paid sixpence (2?p) to climb the 563 steps to the top
The rope bridge opened four years ago. Many visitors go back by boat - too frightened to cross the bridge again
No 10 was almost demolished in the late 18th century because prime ministers owned even grander London houses
The secret spy-hole 'laird's lugs' (or lord?s ears) in the Great Hall had to be bricked up for Mikhail Gorbachev's visit
It has a cameo in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - in homage to the game designer Rockstar North's Scottish roots
Said to be the site of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere's graves. St Michael's Tower on top of the hill has no roof
Harlech cost so much to run it was often left unprotected. An inventory from 1403 showed just four guns
The world's first iron bridge was made from 384 tons of metal. It crosses the River Severn and opened in 1779
The telescopes are so sensitive to interference that the staff tea room microwave is insulated by a metal box
Opened in Southend in 1901 with the first ever lady lion tamer. In World War II, its water chute supplied the fire brigade
The Anglo-Saxon priory became the unlikely subject of a two-part song by acclaimed singer James Blake last year
It boasts a 280ft bell tower with 23 bells and is often used by film-makers as a setting for the Palace of Westminster
Said to be haunted by a former Northern Ireland squire, cursed by a local priest to choke to death
The court used be linked to the church opposite by a secret tunnel for priests to visit condemned prisoners
Noel Coward wrote Blithe Spirit in this holiday village and George Harrison held his 50th birthday party here
Alumni include Henry V, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet, and Mr Bean - aka Rowan Atkinson
The water is deemed unfit for bathing today because it passes through toxic lead pipes laid down by the Romans
The world's oldest football was found in the palace rafters. It was made in 1540 from a pig's bladder and leather
Opened in 1928, it was the largest single span bridge in the world - until Sydney Harbour Bridge stole that honour in 1932
Legend has it the walls of this castle on the banks of Loch Ness were pulled down by the monster Nessie herself
The first museum in the world to use gas lighting to allow evening opening: 'A powerful antidote to the gin palace'
The earliest recorded mention of the White Cliffs was by Julius Caesar - looking for a spot to invade in 55BC
The top-secret code-breakers? base now doubles as a wedding venue. A reception and ceremony costs ￡1,750
York residents love their cathedral so much it has a ten-man police force to look after it - and its set of 380 keys
When Obaysch the hippo arrived here by steamer from the White Nile in 1850, he attracted 10,000 visitors a day