The pillar box was introduced to Britain in 1854 in the Channel Islands on the recommendation of Anthony Trollope. Originally painted sage green, it was not until 1874 that they were painted the familiar red.
Miss Stanbury carried her letter all the way to the chief post-office in the city, having no faith whatever in those little subsidiary receiving houses which are established in different parts of the city. As for the iron pillar boxes which had been erected of late years for the receipt of letters, one of which–a most hateful thing to her–stood almost close to her own hall door, she had not the faintest belief that any letter put into one of them would ever reach its destination. She could not understand why people should not walk with their letters to a respectable post-office instead of chucking them into an iron stump as she called it out in the middle of the street with nobody to look after it. Positive orders had been given that no letter from her house should ever be put into the iron post.
For more information on the history of the postbox and postal services in Britain, visit The British Postal Museum & Archive website