Charing Cross

Erection date: 21/3/1864


{On a stone about 10 feet above the ground:}
First stone laid Mar 21 1864.

{On the street frontage between some of the double piers there are two identical plaques. They are visually very dull so we have not photographed them, but here's the text:}

Charing Cross

The Charing Cross monument is modelled on an early medieval commemorative cross erected by King Edward I for his queen, Eleanor of Castile (1246 – 90).  Twelve crosses marked the journey of her funeral cortege from Harby near Lincoln where she died, to this last stop before Westminster Abbey where she is buried.  A cross was built at every place where the procession rested overnight.

The original cross, from which all distances from London were once measured, was probably at the top of Whitehall and was demolished in 1647.  In 1863 the new Charing Cross monument was built here as a meeting place for Charing Cross Station.  It was designed by E. M. Barry (the architect of the hotel behind) and carved by T. Earp.  Barry also designed giant stone piers and railings to the forecourt which were removed in 1958 to widen the Strand.

Architects Terry Farrell & Company designed new piers and cast iron railings in 1989.  All decorative details are based on Barry’s original design.

Around the monument are 8 standing, crowned statues of Eleanor. This is a recreation of one of 12 Eleanor Crosses erected by King Edward I when his wife Queen Eleanor of Castile died in 1290. "Charing" possibly comes from "Chere reine" French for Dear Queen. The original cross was 'created by' Edward I. The current cross was 'created by' Barry and Earp.

Site: Charing Cross (1 memorial)

WC2, Strand

After 5 years behind scaffolding undergoing restoration this monument was put on show again in August 2010.

On the Northern Line platforms in the nearby Charing Cross tube station there are some very striking murals by David Gentleman which show the medieval workers building the original cross. Diamond Geezer has a good post on these.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Charing Cross

Subjects commemorated i

Queen Eleanor’s Cross

The last of 12 Eleanor Crosses erected to celebrate Eleanor's last journey. ...

Read More

Queen Eleanor of Castile

Born to the King of Castile she was aged 13 when she married the future King ...

Read More

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Charing Cross

Created by i

Edward Middleton Barry

Third son of Sir Charles Barry. Born 27 Foley Place. Work in London: St. Savi...

Read More

Thomas Earp

Architectural carver. Born Nottinghamshire. Worked out of 1 Kennington Road. ...

Read More

King Edward I

Born Westminster. Nicknamed "Longshanks". Reigned 1272 - 1307. Responsible fo...

Read More

Nearby Memorials

Croydon war memorial

Croydon war memorial

CR9, Katharine Street, Clock Tower

To the left of the monument is a sculpture of a wounded soldier and to the right, a woman clutching a child and variously identified as h...

3 subjects commemorated, 2 creators
Waltham Forest Town Hall war memorial

Waltham Forest Town Hall war memorial

E17, Forest Road

The expression "our glorious dead" suggests that this memorial was raised to the dead in the armed forces only and not to any civilian dead.

War dead | Other war
4 subjects commemorated
Knights Templar, Great Fire & Millennium

Knights Templar, Great Fire & Millennium

EC4, Inner Temple

A nearby information board gives: The column in this court was erected and dedicated in the year 2000 AD in the centre of what was forme...

4 subjects commemorated, 6 creators
Lord Cheylesmore

Lord Cheylesmore

WC2, Victoria Embankment Gardens

{On the large stone plaque at the centre of this sombre memorial:} Major-General Lord Cheylesmore, GBE, KCMG, KCMO, Grenadier Guards. Bo...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
The Monument - east and south

The Monument - east and south

EC3, Monument Street

Built 1671-7, designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke as a monument to the Great Fire and as a scientific instrument. Each step is ...

10 subjects commemorated, 1 creator