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Eleanor Crosses

Story location: Home / bits-n-bobs /

When Eleanor of Castile (wife of Edward I) died near Lincoln in 1290, her body was taken back to Westminster. At each overnight stop, Edward ordered a cross to be erected:

  1. Harby, Nottinghamshire (near Lincoln)
  2. Grantham, Lincolnshire
  3. Stamford, Lincolnshire
  4. Geddington, Northamptonshire (near Kettering)
  5. Hardingstone, near Northampton
  6. Stony Stratford (near Milton Keynes)
  7. Woburn, Bedfordshire
  8. Dunstable, Bedfordshire
  9. St Albans, Hertfordshire
  10. Waltham (now Waltham Cross) near Cheshunt in Hertfordshire
  11. Westcheap (Cheapside), London
  12. Charing (now Charing Cross)

To repeat the journey today by car would take a little over 5 hours, travelling 170 miles (avoiding motorways). The route would be:

  1. Leave Harby and head west to the A1133 then south to the A1
  2. Leave the A1 to visit Grantham
  3. Back onto the A1 to Stamford. Leave town on the A43 towards Corby and Kettering.
  4. The A43 goes through Geddington. Continue towards Northampton where it joins the A45.
  5. South of Northampton, take a detour up the A508 to the cross.
  6. Turn around and continue down the A508 to where it meets the A5 at Stony Stratford.
  7. Follow the A5 south (either the modern one through Milton Keynes or the old Watling street) before turning off for Woburn.
  8. Take the A4012 south to the A5 and on to Dunstable.
  9. Continue south on the A5 then A5183 towards St Albans.
  10. For the next leg of the journey you can either cheat and take the M25 to Junction 25 or go cross country taking the A414, A1M, B157 and finally B198 to Waltham Cross
  11. Take the A1055 and A10 into London towards Cheapside
  12. From there, the A40 then A4 take you to Charing Cross

I've missed out a lot of the finer detail of the route for clarity.

The only crosses still standing are the ones at Geddington, Hardingstone and Waltham Cross. The famous cross at Charing is a more modern replica.