Friday, February 05, 2010

Tales of Elephants and Castles

Just checking in to say hello….”Hello” :-) In my previous post, I mentioned a tube stop that Brit Boy and I traveled through called Elephant and Castle, and I wondered how it got its name. Well, Elephant and Castle is a major road intersection in south London. From what I can gather from my bit of research, it seems that there used to be a pub there that was called by that name, so this may be where the name derives from.

The earliest record of the pub’s name is in the Court Leet Book of the Manor of Walmorth. The book mentions that the royal court met at the Elephant and Castle on the 21st of March 1765. And the book says this took place in Newington, which is the original name for the area. Previously the site was occupied by a blacksmith and cutler and the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers, features an image of an elephant with a castle on its back. The image was used because of elephant ivory in handles. So this seems to be where the name originated.

The original name for the area, Newington, is a common place name in England, so the informal name of Elephant and Castle became a more used name for the area. The site of the pub was rebuilt in 1816 and 1898.

So that’s what I found out :-) I’m always interested in how names come to be. From time to time if I come across any other things like this, I’ll share them here. Have a great weekend!


Unknown said...

of course your description and details allowed curiosity to get the best of me and I had to google images - - LOL!

Mike Golch said...


A Valdese Blogger said...

Very cool!

JudyH329 said...

So you did find out where the name came from! Great! Very interesting. Can you imagine anything that old? Wow, we are so young compared to England. Thanks for posting the information.

Agnes said...

wow, very interesting!

Dori said...

Great photo you found :-)

Mike & Valdese Blogger,
Indeed :-) I love learning stuff like this.

Yeah, it was interesting to find out. And yes, we are a young country :-) Have a great week!

Dori said...

Yeah, I love finding out about things like this :-)

Alison said...

It's funny that a lot of people tell the old story that the name came from Eleanor of Castile, which is complete rubbish of course!