By Allan Fuller
March's Quiz Question was:
There are five London tube stations that are named after pubs.
Which one is missing from this list?
The Angel, Manor House, Royal Oak and Swiss Cottage
Elephant & Castle
The name "Elephant and Castle" is derived from a coaching inn. The earliest surviving record of this name in relation to this area appears in the Court Leet Book of the Manor of Walworth, which met at "Elephant and Castle, Newington" on 21 March 1765. The inn's name is sometimes explained as an English corruption of "La Infanta de Castilla", a reference to a Spanish princess with an English connection, such as Eleanor of Castile or Katherine of Aragon (who before her marriage was la ynfante doña Catalina de Castille y Aragon, "infanta of Castile and Aragon"), or perhaps the 17th century Maria Anna of Spain, unsuccessfully pursued as a bride by Charles I. This is considered an improbable etymology. Previously the site was occupied by a blacksmith and cutler – the crest of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers features an elephant with a castle (representing a howdah) on its back, which in turn was used because of the use of elephant ivory in handles; this association with the Cutlers is considered a far more likely explanation for the name.
Shakespeare ostensibly mentions lodgings here in Twelfth Night. In Act 3 Scene 3 Antonio says "In the south suburbs, at the Elephant, is best to lodge." Although the play is set in Illyria in the Balkans, Shakespeare often used local London references. The theatres were all in Southwark, so Shakespeare's line may represent an advertisement for a local hostelry. "The Elephant" is a common present-day nickname for the Elephant and Castle.
Congratulations to Teresa Love whose name was picked out of the hat to win March's QUIZ - please contact email@example.com to arrange the means of receiving the bottle of champagne.