Elephant and Castle

It stood on the corner of Cherry Garden Street and Catherine Street in an area currently locked behind the Dockyard extension wall of the 1950s. Cherry Garden Street, better known in later years as York Street, ran parallel to Fore Street and was just a matter of metres to the south of it, while Catherine Street ran at right angles from Fore Street just beyond Aggie Weston’s Sailor’s Rest.

Quite why this should have been called the Elephant and Castle is unclear, but the name is not unknown in other parts of the country – indeed there’s an area of south London that bears that name … and a tube station. The apparent reason for the coupling of the two words is that some howdahs – those canopied seats on elephants backs, traditionally used by hunters – look like little castles. Certainly the coat of arms of the Cutler’s Company (those people who make cutlery) has employed the motif for centuries – the link here assumed to be the elephant’s ivory that cutlers use in making knife handles.


1862 - John Hill
1880 - G Howard
1882 - J Horn
1885 - J Goodman
1895 - George Cocking
1897 - R Courteis
1911 - Mrs Jane Courteis
1920 - John Thomas Arbery
1928 - David Boucher
1933 - Edward Wedemeyer
1935 - Harry Taylor
1938 - Reginald Kidson
1939 - William Handcock