Charing Cross

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A locality in the City of Westminster, London, containing the site of a cross erected to commemorate the last resting place of the coffin of Eleanor of Castile, queen of Edward I, on its journey from Nottinghamshire, where she died in 1290, to Westminster.

The original cross (the final one of 12 which marked the stages of the coffin's journey) was destroyed in the 17th century, and an equestrian statue of Charles I now stands in its place. A bronze plaque in the pavement behind the statue (placed there in 1955) marks the official centre of London, from which mileages are measured.

Charing represents a name recorded from the Anglo-Saxon period, rather than an alteration of chère reine, as is sometimes suggested.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval).

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