A red sandstone carving depicting an elephant bearing a castle stands in a garden on Stone House Lane in Peckforton village. It dates from around 1859 and is listed at grade II. It was carved by John or William Watson, a local stonemason then working on Peckforton Castle who also carved stone lions now at Spurstow and Tattenhall. The elephant and the castle are each carved from a single piece of stone, which derives from the same quarry as Peckforton Castle. The elephant has a tasselled saddle, supporting the castle which has three tiers, with a turretted gatehouse and a keep with turrets at the corner. Some of the castle windows are glazed.
The original purpose of the carving is unclear. The device formed part of the crest of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers and is often associated with public houses, but there has never been a pub called The Elephant and the Castle in Peckforton. An elephant also appears in the arms of the Corbett family, local landowners before 1626. According to one source, the carving was originally intended as a beehive, although there is no evidence it has ever been used as one.
Taken - 15/11/2013
Location: Peckforton, Cheshire
Photographer: Stephen Dutch