Elephant & Castle

Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, London

The Elephant and Castle is a major road intersection in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Southwark. It is also used as a name for the surrounding area. The Elephant, as it is known for short, consists of major traffic intersections connected by a short road called Elephant and Castle, part of the A3. Between these intersections, on the eastern side, is the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, with an office block called Hannibal House on top. To the north of this, bounded by Newington Causeway and New Kent Road is a large residential block called Metro Central Heights . The 43-storey Strata residential block lies just south of the shopping centre on Walworth Road. "Elephant and Castle" has largely replaced the original name of the area — Newington. The intersections route traffic arriving from and heading to the south-east of England along the A2 — called here the New Kent Road and then the Old Kent Road — and towards the south of England on the A3 as well as splitting traffic into the West End via St George's Road, and the City of London via London Road and Newington Causeway at the northern intersection. Newington Butts and Walworth Road adjoin the southern intersection. The whole junction system forms part of the London Inner Ring Road and part of the boundary of the London congestion charge zone. In the middle of the northern intersection island is the Michael Faraday Memorial, a large stainless steel box built in honour of Michael Faraday, who was born nearby. His name does not appear on the structure, but there is an inscription in the ground nearby. The structure also contains an electrical substation for the Northern Line of the London Underground. The sight-lines of this monument are obscured by illuminated billboards on gantries. Famous former residents include Charlie Chaplin and Michael Caine, who were born and grew up locally. Electronic musician Aphex Twin lives in a converted bank in the area. The Elephant is also home to two linked London Underground stations (Northern and Bakerloo lines) as well as a National Rail station served both by South-East Trains (Kentish Town to Sevenoaks via Catford) and by First Capital Connect (Thameslink suburban loop to Sutton and Wimbledon). Other local buildings include Skipton House (housing the Department of Health), a large part of the London South Bank University campus, the London College of Communication, the Ministry of Sound nightclub, and the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The Cuming Museum is nearby.