Elephant & Castle & 99
The photo above is from the Chiltern Society Photo Group and is the copyright of Rod Darrah who has given permission for it to be used here.
No. 97 is The Elephant & Castle pub, a listed grade II building. The possible origin of this sign is the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers which used ivory for their knife handles. Another suggestion arises from the marriage of Edward I to Eleanor of Castile. Her title in Spanish was “La Infanta de Castile”, hence Elephant and Castle. In the 19th century it was occupied by William Spratley and later Henry Dumbarton who appear to have been both butchers and beer retailers – to modern eyes a strange combination!
The residents were:
- 1841 William Spratley, Butcher aged 55, his wife Elizabeth the same age and children John 29, Mary and Ann and Eliza aged 20.
- 1851 John Spratley 39 had taken over business as Butcher with wife Harriett aged 35, Assistant William Statham 19, Errand Boy William Pursey aged 16 and a House Servant Mary Ann Humphrey.
- 1861 John Spratley continued but this time property is described as Beerhouse and Butcher
- 1871 Henry Dumbarton Beerhouse keeper and Butcher
- 1881 Henry Gibbs 55 Innkeeper
- 1891 Henry Gibley 65
- 1901 Thomas Reeves 32 Beerhouse keeper
- 1911 Mrs Nina Marsh, who had a son and two daughters, was the innkeeper
Is there a ghost in The Elephant and Castle? A figure dress in black is said to disappear through walls, sitting in the kitchen and pinching barmaids’ bottoms.
No 99 is a listed building grade II with the sign for Maltings Mews over the arch. Legal documents show that there was a tannery here from the early 17th century to about 1800.
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