Eleanor of Castille was an unusual wife for a monarch: she followed her husband, Edward I on crusade, declaring that nothing should part those whom God had joined and that the distance between Syria and Heaven was no greater than that between England and Heaven. But, in 1290 AD as she followed Edward north to another battle, she fell ill of a fever and died in Grantham, parted from her husband for the last time. Edward rushed back, but was too late.

The funeral procession took 13 days to reach London, and at each point they stopped along the journey, he had crosses erected to his wife.

Charing Cross was one of those stops, and was the site of one of the three surviving crosses. Its name is thought to be a mutation of 'chere reine', or dear queen.

The cross that's there now is a replica from 1865. Originally the cross was in what is now Trafalgar Square but was shifted over by a couple of hundred yards in 1647 to make way for a statue to Charles I.