Charing Cross is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. It was where King Edward I placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile.
It was one of twelve places where Eleanor's coffin rested overnight during the funeral procession from Lincolnshire to her final resting-place at Westminster. At each of these, Edward erected an Eleanor cross, of which only three now remain.
The original site of the cross has been occupied since 1675 by an equestrian statue of King Charles I. A Victorian replacement, in different style from the original, was later erected a short distance to the east outside t...