Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Charing Cross

The name Charing Cross, now given to a district of central London in the City of Westminster, comes from the original hamlet of Charing, where King Edward I of England placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile.

It was one of twelve places where Eleanor's coffin rested overnight during the funeral procession from Lincolnshire to her final resting-place at Westminster. At each of these, Edward erected an "Eleanor cross", of which only three now remain. The one which stands at Charing Cross, in front of the railway station, is a re-located Victorian "copy" (designed by architect Edward Middleton Barry) of the original - the latter having stood where a statue of King Charles I of England is now to be found. According to historians, the original cross was not nearly as large or ornate as the Victorian version.

"Charing Cross" is a corruption of "cher reine cross", that being French for "dear queen" and referring to the Eleanor Cross that was erected there.

Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying "I think the full tide of human existence is at Charing-Cross." Source: Life of Johnson (J. Boswell), Vol. II Its probably as true now as it was then.

Nearest places:

Nearest tube stations: Nearest railway stations: