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Elephant & Castle
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Elephant & CastleElephant & Castle is named after an old tavern which was originally on the site of a 16th-century playhouse, 'the Newington Theatre', which staged many of Shakespeare's plays. Later converted into a tavern and, during the 18th century, to a posting house and inn, being rebuilt in 1816 and again in 1898. The tavern had a gilt model of an elephant and castle on its frontage, which was preserved when the building was demolished in 1959, and is now displayed in the nearby shopping centre.

The sign originated from the badge of the Cutler's Company who adopted the elephant as its device in 1445 when at the marriage of Henry VI to Queen Margaret the members of the Company wore elephants as decorations upon their coats or shields; this may have represented the ivory used by cutlers for their craft. The theory that the name is a corruption of The Infanta of Castile has no historical foundation. The present day 'pub' stands a short distance from the old site.

The Northern Line station opened as ELEPHANT & CASTLE on 18 December 1890; the Bakerloo Line station on 5 August 1906.






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