12 June 2009

Pub pairs

Most pairings in pub names are fairly easy to understand like 'Dog and Duck', 'Rose and Crown', 'Bull and Gate', Adam and Eve', but there are also some strange ones, some of which are shown below, such as 'George and Vulture', 'Red Lion and Pineapple', 'Fox and Anchor' and 'Hat and Tun', though considering its location, the last one might be a pun on 'Hatton'. And the jury is still out on the derivation of 'Elephant and Castle'. It's a Book About has some great info on that particular name and lots more beside. Any further feedback or info welcomed.
And lots more London pub pics here.


  1. AFAIK, The Elephant and Castle is a SarfLundun modification of an ancient Spanish princess's title - she was "The Elefantia de Castillia".

  2. My bad, it was the Infanta De Castilla if she was Spanish and "
    L'enfant de castilla" if she was French.

  3. The Boot and Flogger in SE1

  4. Re Elephant and Castle, I thought that explanation had ben blown out of the water... scroll down to 'Name' in this link:

    The Boot and Flogger... weird.

  5. May I add some more E&C explanations to the mix? Henry III kept a private zoo at the Tower of London and in 1255 it was recorded that he was given an elephant. The story could have travelled the country as "the elephant at the castle"

    When crusaders went to the Holy Land they saw that Persian knights fought from castle-like structures on the back of elephants. These descriptions found their way into Medieval Bestiaries - illustrated stories of mythical animals that were less than anatomically correct.

    Many of these images were copied into church carvings such as in the 13th Century Exeter Cathedral (where the elephant has horse's legs) and 15th C Ripon. Pilgrims would therefore have been more than familiar with these images and, as many pubs were established to serve the pilgramage trade, the E&C was often used as a name.

    Or that's my theory anyway!

    Elaine Saunders
    Author – A Book About Pub Names
    It’s A Book About….blog
    PS. I've just linked to you from my blog


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Thanks, Jane