It has been part of the village fabric longer than any of its residents but would have been visited by most of them at some point in their lives.
But heartless thieves have ripped out the Victorian post box in the little village of Hoe, near Dereham in Norfolk, leaving a gaping hole in the churchyard wall where its bright red front had been such a familiar sight.
Sue Malt, who runs the village archive, said nobody heard the theft but a nearby resident noticed it has been taken at 10pm on Monday.
He had only walked past it three hours earlier and it was still intact.
“Initially I thought it has been taken for scrap but then I heard that they are quite collectable and can fetch a lot of money,” she said. “It was just beautiful, a real little gem and it is heartbreaking when you think of all the people who plodded up there to post a letter over all those years.
It is so pointless.”
The theft has been reported to police who are investigating but Mrs Malt said they feel the culprits came prepared.
“It was very swift and they clearly knew what they were doing,” she said. “There are cottages either side and nobody heard anything. It had been very carefully edged out of the wall. A couple of strong people could have easily lifted it into a car or a van.”