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Charing Cross

Charing Cross (47)

In order to be precise about Charing Cross we must refer to two strategic points of the city of London: the equestrian statue of Charles I to the south of Trafalgar Square and the foyer of Charing Cross station. We must also travel in time back to the 13th century.

In 1290 Leonor of Castile, the wife of Edward Eduardo I, died. The queen’s body had to be taken from the family seat in Lincoln, where she had died, to Westminster Abbey, where she would be buried. The king, deeply upset, decided to build along the route 12 crosses in memory of his beloved wife. 

The last stop on the route, Charing Cross, corresponds today to the site of the equestrian statue of Charles I. Since then, it has been considered as the true centre of London, and a plaque reminds us that all the distances between London and the rest of the word are measured from this ancient location of the cross.

Taking this into account, Manchester to London is 296 kilometres, Paris, 413, while the Moon would be approximately 321,869 kilometres away.

In 1863, the company that had built a hotel opposite Charing Cross Station entrusted the architect Edward Middleton Barry, who had built the hotel, to raise a replica of the cross in the station foyer.

According to historians, it is likely that the original cross, erected in 1291 and demolished in 1647 by order of Parliament, was less ornamented than the current one. The replica, built by Thomas Earp with Portland stone, Mansfield stone and Aberdeen granite, stands out for its rich carving. It is 21 metres high.

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