The Eleanor Cross 🏴 // The Eleanor Crosses were a series of twelve detailed monuments, topped with crosses, built in a line down the east of England between 1291 and 1294.
Following a successful war campaign in Wales, Edward I invited Queen Eleanor to join him in the north. On her journey she became unwell and passed away in 1290.
Edward I was devastated and in tribute to the Queen, he ordered monuments to be built in the twelve nightly resting spots of his wife’s funeral procession back to London.
Queen Eleanors organs, minus the heart, were buried in Lincoln Cathedral, her body was buried in Westminster Cathedral and her heart was taken to a church in Blackfriars (London), to be buried alongside her son Alphonso, Earl of Chester (and heir apparent to the English throne) who had died in 1284.
The Eleanor Crosses stood at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone, Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St Albans, Waltham Cross, Cheapside and Charing Cross. The original monument in Charing Cross was believed to be the most grand and ornate, with a replica standing in place today.
Inscribed on the pedestal of each monument was the phrase ‘Orate pro anima’ meaning ‘Pray for [her] soul’, inviting travellers and those passing by, to pay their respects to the Queen.
There are substantial remains of three original crosses. These can be found in Geddington, Hardingstone (pictured) and Waltham Cross //