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UK A-Z stamps sheet
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2012

It's time to take a fresh perspective on what's around the UK with this 26-stamp odyssey - alphabetically! For each letter of the alphabet an iconic landmark of the UK is assigned, ranging from ancient to modern and from spiritual to spectacular; but each has an essential presence in the nation's fabric.

Angel of the North, Blackpool Tower, Carrick-a-Rede, Downing Street, Edinburgh Castle, Forth Railway Bridge, Glastonbury Tor, Harlech Castle, Ironbridge, Jodrell Bank, Kursaal, Lindisfarne Priory, Manchester Town Hall, Narrow Water Castle, Old Bailey, Portmeirion, Queens College Oxford, Roman Bath, Stirling Castle, Tyne Bridge, Urquhart Castle, Victoria and Albert Museum, White Cliffs of Dover, Station X Bletchley Park, York Minster and ZSL London Zoo.

The stamp policy team extensively researched UK gazetteers and drew up the list of potential subjects which were supplied to the designer. Using a mixture of specially commissioned and library photography the final line up was assembled and agreed taking into consideration the need to represent each of the four countries of the UK.

This is the ideal way to enjoy all 26 Special Stamps in one spectacular sheet, which is made even more collectable by the addition of four special labels that take the number of iconic images up to 30.

Please click "Read More ..." below to browse detailed information about A to Z.

UK A-L stamp set
(Issue Date: 12 Oct 2011)

This first set comprises 12 stamps featuring the following :

1st Class - Angel of the North

The Angel of the North is a contemporary steel sculpture designed by Antony Gormley, which is located just outside Gateshead. Standing 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across, the wings are angled 3.5º forward to create "a sense of embrace". It stands on a hill on the southern edge of Low Fell, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside and the East Coast Main Line rail route, south of the site of Team Colliery.

1st Class - Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire. It was opened to the public on 14 May 1894. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it rises to 158m (518 ft 9 inches). The Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. The tower can be seen from most places within a 30-mile (48 km) radius including Barrow-in-Furness, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Chorley and Southport. It is a Grade 1 listed building.

1st Class - Carrick-a-Rede

The rope suspension bridge at Carrick-a-Rede, near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland was originally built by salmon fishermen. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island and is owned and maintained by the National Trust, it spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is a year round tourist attraction, with 247,000 visitors in 2009.

1st Class - Downing Street

Probably the most famous front door in the world 10 Downing Street is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister. The townhouse, from which the modern building gets its name, was one of several built by Sir George Downing between 1682 and 1684. In 1732, George II offered the property to Sir Robert Walpole who accepted on the condition that they were a gift to the office of First Lord of the Treasury rather than to him personally.

1st Class - Edinburgh Castle

Dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock, There has been a royal castle here since the reign of David I in the 12th century. The site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions. From the later 17th century, the castle became a military base, with a large garrison. Its importance as a historic monument was recognised from the 19th century, and various restoration programmes have been carried out since.

1st Class - Forth Railway Bridge

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 14 kilometres (9 miles) west of central Edinburgh. It was opened on 4 March 1890. It is often called the Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge although it has been called the "Forth Bridge" since its construction and had for over seventy years the sole claim to this name.

1st Class - Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor is a hill at Glastonbury, Somerset, which features the roofless St. Michael's Tower. The site is managed by the National Trust and has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Tor is a local word of Celtic origin meaning 'rock outcropping' or 'hill'. The Tor has a striking location in the middle of a plain called the Summerland Meadows, part of the Somerset Levels. The plain is reclaimed fenland out of which the Tor once rose like an island, but now, with the surrounding flats, is a peninsula washed on three sides by the River Brue. The remains of Glastonbury Lake Village nearby were identified in 1892, showing that there was an Iron Age settlement about 300–200 BC on what was an easily defended island in the fens. The spot seems to have been called Ynys yr Afalon (meaning "The Isle of Avalon") by the Ancient Britons, and it is believed by some to be the Avalon of Arthurian legend.

1st Class - Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle, located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a concentric castle, constructed atop a cliff close to the Irish Sea. Architecturally, it is particularly notable for its massive gatehouse. Built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales, the castle was subject to several assaults and sieges during its period of active use as a fortification. The castle served as the de facto capital of an independent Wales between 1404 and 1409 when it was held by Owain Glyndwr. The later seven-year siege of the castle, during the Wars of the Roses, has been memorialised in the famous song "Men of Harlech".

1st Class - Ironbridge

Ironbridge is a village on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 30 metre (100 ft) cast iron bridge that was built across the river there in 1779. The bridge was the first cast iron arch bridge in the world.

1st Class - Jodrell Bank

For over 50 years the giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank has been a familiar feature of the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy. Since the summer of 1957 it has been quietly probing the depths of space, a symbol of our wish to understand the universe in which we live. Even now, it remains one of the biggest and most powerful radio telescopes in the world, spending most of its time investigating cosmic phenomena which were undreamed of when it was conceived.

1st Class - Kursaal

The Kursaal went into decline in the 1970s, when more people took holidays abroad. The land was sold off for building development, and in 1973 the Kursaal amusement park was closed down and in the 1986 the building finally closed. Following many years of dereliction the Kursaal building was reopened in 1998 after a multi-million pound redevelopment and restoration, It is now a listed building, forming part of the Kursaal conservation area.

1st Class - Lindisfarne Priory

Lindisfarne is a tidal island off England's north-east coast. It is also known as Holy Island. The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish born Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald ca. AD 635. It became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. The priory was abandoned in the late ninth century because of persistent Viking raids.

UK M-Z stamp set
Issue Date: 10 Apr 2012

The Mint Stamps are printed across three sheets of 30 stamps, with M to R and S to X in se-tenant sheets of six stamps, with Y and Z on a strip of 6 (3 x Y and 3 x Z). Vertical strips containing five of each stamp are also available for you to own. The beautiful locations featured are :

1st Class - Manchester Town Hall

One of Britain's greatest municipal buildings, Manchester Town Hall is a Victorian-era, neo-gothic design. The building functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Manchester City Council and houses a number of local government departments. Completed by architect Alfred Waterhouse in 1877, the building features imposing murals by the artist Ford Madox Brown depicting important events in the history of the city. The Town Hall was rated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building in 1952. The exterior is dominated by the 280-foot high clock tower. There are 24 bells in the tower; the Great Hour Bell weighs over 8 tons and is called Great Abel, named after Abel Heywood, Mayor at the time of the official opening.

1st Class – Narrow Water Castle

Narrow Water Castle is a famous tower house near Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland, located on the County Down bank of the Clanrye River, which enters Carlingford Lough a mile to the south. Narrow Water Castle was given into state care in 1956 and is one of the finest 16th-century buildings in Ireland. Narrow Water Castle tower house and bawn is a state care historic monument in the townland of Narrow Water, in Newry and Mourne District Council district. Built for military purposes during the 1560s, Narrow Water Castle is a typical example of the tower houses erected throughout Ireland from the 14th until the early 17th century. This form of building, normally rectangular in plan and three or more storeys high, comprised a series of superimposed chambers, with stairs, closets and latrines skilfully contrived within the walls (which are 1.5metres or five feet thick in places) or sometimes contained in projecting angle turrets.

1st Class – Old Bailey

The Central Criminal Court in England, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London. The present building dates from 1902, but it was officially opened on 27 February 1907. It was designed by E. W. Mountford and built on the site of the infamous Newgate Prison, which was demolished to allow the court buildings to be constructed. Above the main entrance is inscribed the admonition, "Defend the Children of the Poor & Punish the Wrongdoer". King Edward VII opened the courthouse. On the dome above the court stands a bronze statue of Lady Justice, executed by British sculptor F. W. Pomeroy. She holds a sword in her right hand and the scales of justice in her left. The statue is popularly supposed to show blind Justice; however, the figure is not blindfolded: the courthouse brochures explain that this is because Lady Justice was originally not blindfolded, and because her "maidenly form" is supposed to guarantee her impartiality which renders the blindfold redundant.

1st Class – Portmeirion

Portmeirionis a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. It is one of Wales' most popular visitor attractions, with over 250,000 visitors every year. Portmeirion is now owned by a charitable trust, and has always been run as a hotel, which uses the majority of the buildings as hotel rooms or self-catering cottages, together with shops, a cafe, tearoom, and restaurant. Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, most famously serving as The Village in the 1960s television show The Prisoner. "PortmeiriCon" is the name given to "Six of One's" regular Prisoner Conventions in the hotel village of Portmeirion. The society has held these events annually since 1977.

1st Class – The Queen's College Oxford

The Queen's College, founded 1341, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. Queen's is centrally situated on the High Street, and is renowned for its 18th-century architecture. The College was founded during the 14th century by Robert de Eglesfield (d'Eglesfield), chaplain to Queen Philippa of Hainault (the wife of King Edward III of England); hence its name. Whilst the name of Queens' College, Cambridge is plural, the Oxford College is singular, and is written with the definite article. The frontage was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor during a substantial rebuilding in the 18th century during which the library was built. The medieval foundations, however, remain beneath the current 18th-century structure. Queen's is notable for the beautifully clean, classical lines of its buildings, unique among the largely gothic constructions that predominate amongst Oxford colleges.

1st Class – Roman Baths

The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level. There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century. The Baths are a major tourist attraction and, together with the Grand Pump Room, receive more than one million visitors a year. Visitors can see the Baths and Museum but cannot enter the water.

1st Class – Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1543. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. Stirling Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and is now a tourist attraction managed by Historic Scotland.

1st Class – Tyne Bridge

The Tyne Bridge is a through arch bridge over the River Tyne in North East England, linking Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. The bridge was designed by engineering firm Mott, Hay and Anderson, who later designed the Forth Road Bridge, and it was built by Dorma Long & Co. of Middlesbrough. At the time of its construction it was the world's longest single span bridge. The bridge was officially opened on 10 October 1928 by King George V and has since become a defining symbol of Tyneside. It currently stands as the tenth tallest structure in the city.

1st Class – Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness in Scotland along the A82 road, between Fort William and Inverness. It is close to the village of Drumnadrochit. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking the Loch. It is also near this castle that the majority of Loch Ness Monster sightings occur.

1st Class – Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) and 145 galleries. The laying of the foundation stone to the left of the main entrance of the Aston Webb building, on 17 May 1899, was the last official public appearance by Queen Victoria. It was during this ceremony that the change of name from the South Kensington Museum to the Victoria and Albert Museum was made public.

1st Class – White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are part of the North Downs formation. The cliff face, which reaches up to 107 metres (351 ft), owes its striking façade to its composition of chalk accentuated by streaks of black flint. The cliffs spread east and west from the town of Dover in the county of Kent, an ancient and still important English port. The cliffs have great symbolic value for Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. Because crossing at Dover was the primary route to the continent before air travel, the white line of cliffs also formed the first or last sight of the UK for travellers.

1st Class – Station X Bletchley Park

Station X, a radio intercept station, is located in Bletchley Park, an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, where during World War II, 12,000 people worked in total secrecy. BletchleyPark was the site of the United Kingdom's main decryption establishment, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), where ciphers and codes of several Axis countries were decrypted, most importantly the ciphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines.

1st Class – York Minster

York Minsteris one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. It is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and cathedral for the Diocese of York. The governing body of York Minister is the Chapter headed by the Dean of York. Its formal title is The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York. The title "Minster" is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches. It has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic choir and east end and Early English north and south transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 16 metres (52 ft) high. The south transept contains a famous rose window.

1st Class – ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoois the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today it houses a collection of 755 species of animals, with 16,802 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.

【Source:Royal Mail

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