Shining the spotlight on Elephant & Castle's transformation

16 May 2019

The quirkily named Elephant and Castle has a few potential origins stories for its name. While both stories revolve around a pub in South London being called the “Elephant and Castle”, the means by which it adopted this name vary. One such tale says it came from London locals thinking Charles I’s Spanish princess fiancée, the ‘Infanta de Castille’ sounded like “elephant and castle”. Another draws its peculiar name from the fact that the area was home to many businesses and merchants, including ivory merchants. With the symbol of the ivory trade being an elephant carrying an ornamental seat, many viewed the seat to look like a castle. Thus, the name was born and an inn in the area adopted the name, becoming popular with travellers on their way to London.

The area remains a popular choice for businesses today and is enjoying a multi-billion-pound renovation. Let’s take a look at some of the exciting new developments for Elephant and Castle.

Elephant Park

One of the key focuses of the development of Elephant and Castle is more housing. The mixed-use development brings with it 2,500 new homes, as well as 50 new shops and cafés. All of this is being balanced with ample greenspace, the Elephant and Castle website promises, with many mature trees being retained and hundreds of new saplings being planted as part of the development.

One of the first parts of the development, Trafalgar Place, was completed in 2015, and the community is thriving four years on.

Town Centre

A larger renovation project for the area, the new town centre will bring with it 979 additional new houses, 343 of which will be affordable houses or social rented homes.

The new town centre will also benefit from a new Northern Line entrance, a surge in job creation, and a number of community leisure spaces fit for everything from bingo to cinemas.

The Kite

A 25-storey tower inspired by Michal Faraday, the Kite will consist of flats and hotel space. The design of the tower is a direct nod to Newington Butts’ famous scientist, Michael Faraday, with the filigree screen pattern intended to reflect the man’s work in electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Southwark News reported that one of the building’s defining features will either be an open balcony or a winter garden, in order to contrast with the structure’s horizontal and vertical appearance from its ceramic façade.

Benefits and growth

The above highlights just a few of the many projects going on in the area as part of its £3 billion investment. There are many benefits to the overall renovation of the area, including:

  • Housing — By 2025, more than 5,000 new and replacement homes are to be built in Elephant and Castle.
  • Jobs — The project as a whole is set to create more than 10,000 new jobs. This in turn will help support the local economy of Elephant and Castle. There has also been a substantial investment in apprenticeships and training.
  • Transport — The transport sector of Elephant and Castle is enjoying a £150 million boost, which will see walking routes, cycling paths, and roads created.
  • Community and culture — From parks and public spaces to new amenities such as restoring Walworth Town Hall and the new Southwark Playhouse.

There’s so much to look forward to, and Elephant and Castle is certainly shaping up to be one of the most enviable places to live.

Sources

https://www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/khan-keen-for-elephant–castle-development-to-deliver-affordable-housing-58462

https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/25-storey-michael-faraday-inspired-tower-for-elephant-castle/

https://www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/the-benefits/

https://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/the-castle-centre/

http://www.elephantfacts.co.uk/elephant.htm

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