John's English in London Stories

May 15, 2017

Which of you students of English who have been on the ICE Westminster walk in central London can remember one of the greatest love stories of all times? It was over 700 years ago when the English king, Edward I, was riding with his beautiful wife Eleanor who was married aged 12 when she was Princess Eleanor, L’ Infanta de Castile. In 1290 at Harby near Lincoln, Eleanor, now aged 49 and after having 16 children, died suddenly and left Edward heartbroken.  It took 12 days and nights to bring Eleanor”s body back to Westminster Abbey and each night where the funeral cortege stopped King Edward had a gothic stone spire built in memory of Eleanor.

The last was Charing Cross which stands outside the front of Charing Cross station although this is a replica. Only three of the original crosses survive the nearest to London being Waltham Cross. It is also virtually the centre of London and so all distances on maps are measured from Charing Cross.


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