Piccadilly of South London

Elephant and Castle – A History of Change

Elephant and Castle has witnessed dramatic changes in recent times. Three hundred years ago the area was sparsely populated. The villages of Walworth and Newington were set among market gardens, fields and open marshland. 18th century Walworth was a prosperous suburb, but by Victorian times slums had swallowed up the commons. The 19th century saw an eightfold increase in the population.

Elephant and Castle has always been an important traffic junction and was once known as “the Piccadilly of South London”Once known as south London’ 

Began its decline following extensive bomb damage during the Second World War.

The redevelopment of Elephant and Castle is an ambitious programme of change that will culminate in one of the largest regeneration programmes ever seen in Europe.



The £1.5 billion, 70-acre programme includes the creation of a new pedestrianised town centre, market square, green spaces and thousands of new homes and jobs.

Southwark Council is leading this programme so that by 2020, local people can benefit from a dramatically improved physical environment with tree lined streets, high quality open spaces and a largely traffic free environment. They will also enjoy access to more local jobs and training opportunities, and new cultural and leisure facilities such as a cinema and swimming pool.


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