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Charing Cross

Charing Cross

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For Charing Cross in Glasgow, see Charing Cross, Glasgow.
For Charing Cross, the former main tram intersection in Bendigo, Australia, see Charing Cross, Bendigo.
Charing Cross
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OS grid reference:TQ302804
Latitude: 51.507466960810945°
Longitude: -0.1229817170424834°
London borough: Westminster
County level: Greater London
Region: London
Constituent country:England
Sovereign state:United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: Greater London
Historic county: Middlesex (1889)
Police force: Metropolitan Police
Fire brigade: London Fire Brigade
Ambulance service: London Ambulance
Post office and telephone
Post town: LONDON
Postal district: WC2
Dialling code:020
UK Parliament: Cities of London and Westminster
London Assembly: West Central
European Parliament: London
London | List of places in London

The name Charing Cross, now given to a mainline railway station and the surrounding district of central London, comes from the original hamlet of Charing, where King Edward I placed a cross in memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile. It is officially [1] recognised as the exact centre of London; distances to London are measured to the location of the original Eleanor cross built at Charing.

Charing Cross was the last of 12 locations where Eleanor's coffin rested overnight during the funeral procession from Lincolnshire to her final resting-place at Westminster, half a mile away. At each of these, Edward erected an Eleanor cross, of which only three now remain. The one which stands in front of Charing Cross railway station is a re-located Victorian copy (designed by architect Edward Middleton Barry) of the original, which was not nearly as large or ornate as the Victorian version.

The cross's original location was at the village of Charing, at the top of Whitehall, at the south of Trafalgar Square. The site is now occupied by the statue of King Charles I mounted on a horse. A plaque there reads:

"On the site now occupied by the statue of King Charles was erected the original Queen Eleanor's Cross a replica of which stands in front of Charing Cross Station. Mileages from London are measured from the site of the original cross."

Although it has been thought that the name Charing derived from Fr. chere reine (= "dear Queen"), it is more likely to stem from the Old English cearring, meaning a bend in the river. (At the site of the village of Charing, coming from Westminster, the Thames makes a dramatic 90-degree turn to the east)

In 1839 the Metropolitan Police District was extended to cover every parish within 15 miles of Charing Cross.

London's taxi drivers, in their traditional black cabs, have to learn most of the streets within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross when acquiring "The Knowledge".

Image:Charing Cross in the 19th century.jpg
The front entrance of Charing Cross railway station in a 19th-century print. The cross in front of the station Hotel is a Victorian replacement for the original Eleanor Cross on the site.

Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying "I think the full tide of human existence is at Charing-Cross." Source: Life of Johnson (J. Boswell), Vol. II. In Aldous Huxley's novel, Brave New World, the Charing Cross is renamed to Charing T, after the Ford Model T.

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Coordinates: 51°30′25″N, 0°07′39″Wcs:Charing Cross fr:Charing Cross it:Charing Cross he:צ'רינג קרוס ja:チャリング・クロス no:Charing Cross pl:Charing Cross

Charing Cross

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