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Ancient Postal Routes feature on new stamps across Europe

16 July 2020

16 July, 2020:  An Post issued two stamps on the theme of ‘Ancient Postal Routes as part of a Europe-wide Europa initiative where European postal operators issue stamps on a common theme.  Designed by Dublin firm, Red&Grey, the stamps and First Day Cover (FDC) souvenir envelope are based on illustrations by artist Orlagh Murphy.

Taking inspiration from religious art, using a quadriptych (four quadrant layout), the stamps tell the story of the journey of a letter during the Middle Ages. 

The National rate (N) stamp shows a medieval monk preparing a letter and then carrying it overseas by boat. The International stamp (W rate) shows the message being carried onward by horseback and the delivery of the message to the recipient, a medieval prioress.
Inspired by an archival drawing, Orlagh Murphy’s illustration on the FDC depicts a map of the European travel route of Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1146 – c. 1223), a colourful cleric of the time. The route shows how he travelled from Dublin to Rome via Paris.

Giraldus Cambrensis was a prolific writer and influential figure in the twelfth century Renaissance, a period of social, political and economic transformation in Europe. He wrote ‘Topographia Hiberniae’ as an account of the landscape and people of Ireland, circa 1188.
The new stamps and souvenir envelopes are available at the GPO, Dublin;  selected post offices nationwide, online at;   or from the Philatelic Bureau at Tel: 01-7057400.