The British Millennium on Stamps

Numerous countries put their best on for the turn of the millennium, and Royal Mail is no exception. Millennium collections are usually large sets of stamps, separated into subsets, that approach, thematically or randomly the events of the previous millennium, from the perspective of the issuing country, or globally.

The British Millennium collection of stamps was issued between 1999-2000. Each design includes the inscription ‘Millennium’, the year of issue and a serial number. The designs for 1999 looked back over the previous millennium under 12 different themes. The designs for 2000 highlighted projects undertaken to celebrate the millennium.


The 1999 Issues

Set I – The Inventor’s Tale  



Timekeeping: Greenwich Meridian and clock face | (20p) Steam Power: worker and blast furnace (26p) | Photography: photograph of leaves  | (43p) Computers: computer inside head (63p)

Set II –  The Traveller’s Tale 



Jet Travel: globe surrounded by aircraft (20p) | Liberation By Bike: woman on bicycle (26p) | Linking The Nation: railway station (43p) | Cook’s Endeavour: Captain Cook and man (63p)

Set III – The Patient’s Tale  


Test Tube Baby: sculpture of baby (63p) | Fleming’s Penicillin: penicillin mould (43p)  | Nursing Care: patient on trolley (26p) | Jenner’s Vaccination: cow with markings of vaccinated child (20p)

Set IV – The Settler’s Tale 


Migration To UK: face superimposed on hummingbird (63p) | Destination Australia: sailing ship and aspects of settlement (43p) | Pilgrim Fathers: settlers and Red Indian (26p) | Migration To Scotland: Norman settler and dove (20p)

Set V – The Worker’s Tale 


City Finance: Lloyd’s Building, London (64p) | Shipbuilding: hull on slipway (44p)  | Mill Towns: Salts Mill, Saltaire (26p) | Weaver’s Craft: woven threads (19p)

Set VI – The Entertainer’s Tale  



Mercury’s Magic: Freddie Mercury of Queen on stage (19p) | World Cup: Bobby Moore holding the trophy (26p) | Doctor Who: dalek (44p) | Chaplin’s Genius: Charlie Chaplin (64p)

Set VII – The Citizen’s Tale 


First Rights: Magna Carta (64p) | Right To Learn: children at school (44p) | Right To Health: tap (26p) | Equal Rights: suffragette behind bars (19p)

Set VIII – The Scientist’s Tale 



Decoding DNA: molecular structures (19p) | Darwin’s Theory: Galapagos finch and skeleton (26p) | Faraday’s Electricity: light polarised by magnetism (44p) | Newton: Saturn, from Hubble Space Telescope (64p)

One of the stamps from the Scientist’s Tale (Newton: Saturn, from Hubble Space Telescope) was also released as a sheet on the occasion of the Total Eclipse of 11.08.1999.



Set IX –  The Farmer’s Tale 


Food From Afar: peeling potato (44p) | Mechanical Farming: horse-drawn seed drill (26p) | Strip Farming: upland landscape (19p) | Satellite Agriculture: combine harvester in field (64p)

Set X – The Soldier’s Tale 


Bannockburn: Robert the Bruce (19p) | Civil War: cavalier and horse (26p) | World Wars: war graves (44p) | Peace-Keeping: soldiers with boy (64p)

Set XI – The Christian’s Tale 


First Christmas: nativity (64p) | St.Andrews Pilgrimage: St.Andrews Cathedral, Fife (44p) |  King James Bible: King James I and Authorised Version (26p) | Wesley:‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ (19p)

Set XII – The Artist’s Tale 



World Of The Stage: dancers behind curtain (19p) | World Of Music: coloured stripes (26p) | World Of Literature: untitled book (44p) | New Worlds: rainbow abstract (64p)

The 2000 Issues 

Set XIII – Above and Beyond 


Third Millennium, Muncaster: barn owl (19p) | National Space Centre, Leicester: night sky (26p) | Torrs Walkway, New Mills: River Goyt and textile mills (44p) | Seabird Centre, North Berwick: cape gannets (64p)

Set XIV – Fire and Light 


Beacons Across The Land: millennium beacon (19p) | Rheilffordd Eryri, Snowdonia: Garratt locomotive and train (26p) | Dynamic Earth Centre, Edinburgh: lightning (44p) |
Lighting Croydon’s Skyline: floodlighting (64p)

Set XV – Water and Coast 


Turning The Tide, Durham: beach pebbles (19p) | National Pondlife Centre, Merseyside: frog’s legs and lilies (26p) | Parc Arfordirol, Llanelli: cliff boardwalk (44p) | Portsmouth Harbour: reflections in water (64p)

Set XVI – Life and Earth 


Web Of Life, London Zoo: leaf-cutter ants (1st) | ECOS, Ballymena: River Braid reed beds (2nd) | Earth Centre, Doncaster: solar sensors (44p) | Project Suzy,Teesside: hydroponic leaves (64p)

Set XVII – Art and Craft 


Ceramica Museum, Stoke-on-Trent: pottery glaze (2nd) | Tate Modern, London: bankside galleries (1st) | Cycle Network: road markings for bicycles (45p) | Lowry Centre, Salford: people in Salford (65p)

Single issue


National Space Centre, Leicester: night sky (1st) – previously issued in Set XIII (Above and Beyond, with a value of 26p).

Set XVIII – People and Places


On The Meridian Line: African hut and thatched cottage (65p) | Mile End Park, London: daisies (45p) | Millennium Bridge, Gateshead: bridge (1st) | Millennium Greens Project: children playing (2nd)

Set XIX – Stone and Soil 


Strangford Stone, Killyleagh: raising the stone (2nd) | Trans-Pennine Trail, Derbyshire: horse’s hooves (1st) | Kingdom Of Fife Cycle Ways: cyclist and reflection (45p) | Groundwork’s Changing Places: bluebell wood (65p)

Set XX – Tree and Leaf 


Forest For Scotland: highland forest (65p) | Eden Project,St.Austrell:sunflower (1st) |Millennium Seed Bank, Ardingly: sycamore seeds (45p) | Yews For The Millennium: tree roots (2nd)

Set XXI – Mind and Matter


Wildscreen At Bristol: head of ant (2nd) | Norfolk & Norwich Project: gathering water lilies on Broads (1st) | Millennium Point, Birmingham: X-ray of hand on mouse (45p) | Scottish Cultural Resources Network: tartan wool holder (65p)

Set XXII – Body and Bone 


Bath Spa Project: bather (45p) | Hampden Park, Glasgow: footballers (1st) | Body Zone, Millennium Dome: acrobats (2nd) | Centre For Life, Newcastle: hen’s egg under magnification (65p)

Set XXIII – Spirit and Faith 


Mystery Plays,York Minster: Chapter House ceiling (65p) | St. Patrick Centre, Downpatrick: Latin gradual (45p) | Church Floodlighting: St. Peter and St. Paul, Overstowey (1st) | St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk: stained glass window (2nd)

Set XXIV – Sound and Vision 


Ringing In The Millennium: church bells (2nd) | Year Of The Artist: eye (1st) |
Canolfan Mileniwm, Cardiff: top of a harp (45p) | Talent & Skills 2000: figure in latticework (65p)

Stamps featured in post: 97; Period: contemporary (1999-2000); Pricing: low; Availability: available, but hard to assemble in an entire collection.

Michel catalogue no’s (price for mint in € in brackets): Set I: MiNr: 1777-1780 (5.5€); Set II: MiNr: 1782-1785 (5.5€); Set III: MiNr: 1789-1792 (5.5€); Set IV: MiNr: 1797-1800 (5.5€); Set V: MiNr: 1805-1808 (5.5€); Set VI: MiNr: 1809-1812 (5.5€); Set VII: MiNr: 1815-1818 (5.5€); Set VIII: MiNr: 1819-1822 (5.5€); the Total Eclipse sheet – Block 7 (25€); Set IX: MiNr: 1823-1826 (6€); Set X: MiNr: 1827-1830 (5.5€); Set XI: MiNr: 1831-1834 (5.5€); Set XII: MiNr: 1835-1838 (5.5€); Set XIII: MiNr: 1844-1847 (5.5€); Set XIV: MiNr: 1848-1851 (5.5€); Set XV: MiNr: 1853-1856 (5.5€); Set XVI: MiNr: 1857-1860 (6.5€); Set XVII: MiNr: 1867-1879 (6.5€); single: MiNr 1872 (6€); Set XVIII: MiNr: 1873-1876 (6.5€); Set XIX: MiNr: 1877-1884 (6.5€); Set XX: MiNr: 1881-1884 (6.5€); Set XXI: MiNr: 1889-1892 (6.5€); Set XXII: MiNr: 1893-1896 (6.5€); Set XXIII: MiNr: 1897-1900 (6.5€); Set XVII: MiNr: 1901-1904 (6.5€).


4 thoughts on “The British Millennium on Stamps

  1. Thank you for the information, my daughter born 2000 and will be 21 soon decided to pull out her stamp collection a very lovely man had gifted her when she was 12. So we have a book which I’m thinking I would like to try and make up the 1999 and 2000 collection. The stamps I have are not spotless and to be honest that doesn’t bother me. So my question is do you know if there is a swap group with people like me who are not worried if they are stamps from envelops letters which I actually think are my thing, that maybe would swap my extras so I can complete the collection. Sorry if this upsets you I don’t mean to. Thanks Ali


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