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Revised 21/11/2012

RETURN TO PLANTAGENET KINGS

ELEANOR CROSSES

After Eleanor's death, her cortege travelled to Westminster, stopping en route at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone [Northampton], Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, Westcheap [Cheapside] and Charing [Charing Cross]. At each stop, King Edward arranged for crosses to be afterwards erected to her memory. These crosses became known as Eleanor Crosses. The crosses were mostly destroyed during the Commonwealth period, but three have survived, those at Geddington, Northampton and Waltham Cross.

LINCOLN

 

The plaque reads:

 

REMAINS  OF  AN  ELEANOR  CROSS
ORIGINALLY  ERECTED  BY  EDWARD  I
IN  13 TH  CENTURY  AT  FOOT
OF  CROSS  O' CLIFF  HILL

Lincoln Castle
front of fragment
(17 March 2005)

 

rear of fragment

STAMFORD

Only a small marble fragment, a carved rose, survives, and is preserved in Stamford Museum.

 

Stamford Museum
(6 March 2010)

 

accompanying description
 

 

GEDDINGTON

Geddington
(1 March 2010)
figures of Eleanor
(1 March 2010)

 

NORTHAMPTON

The cross at Northampton was restored in 1713, after 400 years of neglect, and a stone plaque placed nearby to commemorate the restoration. The monument was again restored in 1984, by which time the Latin inscription had become well worn. A new plaque was made, with the original wording now translated into English.

Northampton
(22 March 2000)

 

The modern plaque reads as follows:

In everlasting memory of conjugal love, the Honourable Assembly of Judges of the County of Northampton resolved to restore this monument to Queen Eleanor, when it had nearly fallen down by reason of age in that most auspicious year 1713, in which Anne, the Glory of Britain, the Most Powerful Avenger of the Oppressed, the Arbitress of Peace and War, after Germany had been set free, Belgium made secure in her defences, the French overcome in more than ten battles by her own and by the arms of her allies, made an end of conquering and restored Peace to Europe after she had given it freedom

 

STONY STRATFORD

The probable site of the former Eleanor Cross  (destroyed during the time of the Civil War) is marked by a modern plaque:

NEAR THIS SPOT STOOD
THE CROSS
ERECTED BY
KING EDWARD THE 1ST
TO MARK TO PLACE IN
STONY STRATFORD
WHERE THE BODY OF
QUEEN ELEANOR
RESTED ON ITS WAY
FROM HARBY IN
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE TO
WESTMINSTER ABBEY
IN 129O

Plaque on a house in Stony Stratford
(2 March 2010)

 


WALTHAM CROSS

 

 

          Waltham Cross
         (19 March 2005)

 

Eleanor statue
(replica)

accompanying plaque
 
 

The cross at  Waltham Cross has been restored several times, the last occasion being in 1989. The original statues, at one time on view at Cheshunt Central Library, are now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

 

Engraving on display
Museum of London

(8 March 2010)

 

Caption with engraving

 

 

WESTCHEAP

Two fragments (discovered in 1838) showing the arms of England and Castile are on display at the Museum of London.

   

Museum of London
(8 March 2010)

       

 

LONDON

Perhaps the most famous cross is in London at Charing Cross, which is a modern (1865) replica.