The Eleanor Crosses were built by King Edward I in the early 13th century as a tribute to his late wife Eleanor of Castile. The king wanted to mark every resting place on the journey that Eleanor’s body took between the place of death (near Lincoln in the north of England) and Westminster Abbey in London.
The 12 Eleanor Crosses mark the stops in her funeral procession.
The Waltham Cross
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The Hardingstone Cross
For centuries, the Hardingstone Cross, which sits at a busy intersection in this suburb of Northampton, England, has been missing the cross that once graced its top.
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The destruction of Cheapside Cross by the Protestants
Bringing down Cheapside Cross in 1643 was authorized by the Parliamentary Committee for the Demolition of Monuments of Superstition and Idolatry.
Unlike the elaborate memorials for his queen, Edward I treated his great enemy Sir William Wallace (Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart') with contempt. He was given no official burial place.
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Before the journey south, the monks of Lincoln cathedral embalmed the body of Queen Eleanor. Her entrails were buried in the cathedral.
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The remains of the Lincoln cross
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Charing Cross, one of the Eleanor Crosses
Charing Cross, the official center of London, has the most famous of the Eleanor Crosses, although it is the least authentic.
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The Geddington Cross
The most complete of the crosses is in the little-known town of Geddington.