Charing Cross, or Queen Eleanor’s Cross, is the large monument that stands on the forecourt outside Charing Cross train station. It was built by Edward Barry in 1865, and represents one of the twelve crosses that were erected by King Edward I.
When Queen Eleanor died in 1290, her body was transported down to London from Nottinghamshire. The King was so distraught at her passing that he erected a cross at every place the funeral train rested – the last one of which was on the bank of the Thames, by what is now known as Charing Cross. It was demolished in 1647, and a new one was built at the same time as the station.
It is possible that the entire area was named after her, as
chère reine in French means