Map of London Elephant & Castle tube station

One of the best names in London. Elephant and Castle is actually a large busy roundabout and a large pink shopping centre. No elephants or castles in sight (other than the pub of the same name).

One version of the origin of the name is that it comes from:

"Infanta of Castille", a Spanish Princess Royal who was sent over to marry a prince or king, and presumably arrived from Dover via the Old Kent Road, stopped to freshen up in South London before making a triumphant entry into the city.

This is garbage, if colourful garbage. I believe that some guild of master craftsmen had as their crest an elephant with a castle. I think it was the locksmiths and they used the elephant and castle to represent the strength of their products. There was probably a Locksmiths Arms pub ( or possibly a guild hq ) with a large flashy sign of an E&C round here. This explanation is the one favoured in a History of place names I have.

Believe which you like. The Infanta is the local favourite, but has no historic support: the guild sign should be checkable.

- Lesley McFadyen

Sad really - real elephants and castles would have been much more fun.

The London College of Printing and South Bank University are situated here. South Bank University also has a site at nearby Vauxhall

You can click and drag the map around to find nearby restaurants, attractions and pubs near Elephant & Castle: