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Why London's postcode system doesn't make any sense; If you think it doesn't make sense, you would be basically right.

Byline: Qasim Peracha

Postcodes in London are one of the most bizarre things you are confronted with when you first move here.

They do not make any sense and plenty of things are where you would least expect them to be.

Why, for example is SE2 all the way out past Woolwich, and why is there an NW, SW and NW postcode but no NE postcode?

Some of these are just quirks of the way the postal system was made, but there is some method behind the madness.

The city's had to increase the number of postcodes it has. While there are no quotas, there are generally 15 properties in every full postcode.

If we take the queen's address: SW1A 1AA, the SW stands for South West.

Of course Buckingham Palace is as Central London as it gets so that already doesn't seem right, but let's roll with it.

There is also N, E, SE, SW, W and NW, which stand for the different points of the compass. Central London, as it was interpreted then, was also split into EC3.

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There used to be an S, but that was split into SE and SW. NE was taken back into N around the same time in the 1860s.

Thanks to our sacrifice, S is now Sheffield and NE is now Newcastle. They're welcome.

Next comes the numbering. The numbers were actually not introduced until the First World War, and clearly they were distracted because the numbering is all over the place.

As much as it now matters to house prices and braggadocios yuppies, the numbering is kind of irrelevant to describing where you are in London.

After the numbers there is sometimes a subdivision, usually around the Central London area.

EC, WC, SW1 and W1 were the first to be subdivided, and bits of E1 and N1 have now been subdivided.

The next number is the "sector" and is followed by a the "unit", which is the two letters after.

These can be even more random, but basically help the post office to sort the stuff into postal bags.

Today's most read stories on MyLondon

In 2012, in honour of the Olympics, a former brownfield waste site was given the newest London postcode, E20 to celebrate its regeneration into the Olympic Village.

The 8,000 houses on the site are all using the E20 postcode, while the stadium was assigned postcode E20 2ST.

Fans ofEastEnderswill spot that E20 was the fictional postcode used by the characters in Walford.


Credit: Getty Images

London's postcodes are unfathomable

Credit: PA

The queen's house, with postcode SW1A 1AA

Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The last two bit of the postcode indicate the bags for postmen

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Publication:Get West London (Watford, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 25, 2019
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