Eleanor Cross, Geddington, UK Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Eleanor Cross, Geddington, UK

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The Eleanor Cross is a monument to Queen Eleanor of Castille. Eleanor was the wife of Edward I of England, also known as 'Longshanks', though probably not to his face1. She had given him 11 children and died in 1290 at Harby, Lincolnshire on the way to meet him during one of his forays into Scotland.

She was taken back to London again, to be buried in Westminster Abbey, and such was his love for her that Edward had crosses erected at each one of the overnight stopping points of the funeral cort├Ęge. The stopping places were at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone, Stony Stratford, Dunstable, Cheapside and Charing Cross.

The cross at Geddington is in the centre of the town and is the only complete one left of the nine raised, although the very top cross is missing. Another partial cross still exists at Hardingstone, near Northhampton. It's a beautiful, three-sided Gothic monument with carved figures of the queen inset into the sides. In its original form much of it would have been coloured and it presents a highly evocative link with the 13th Century.

1He's the one played by Patrick McGoohan in the film Braveheart.

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