Charing Cross

The point from which distances from London are measured / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Charing Cross (/ˈærɪŋ/ CHARR-ing)[1] is a junction in Westminster, London, England, where six routes meet. Clockwise from north these are: the east side of Trafalgar Square leading to St Martin's Place and then Charing Cross Road; the Strand leading to the City; Northumberland Avenue leading to the Thames Embankment; Whitehall leading to Parliament Square; The Mall leading to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace; and two short roads leading to Pall Mall. The name also commonly refers to the Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross at Charing Cross station.

Quick facts: Charing Cross, OS grid reference, L...
Charing Cross
Charing Cross roundabout, with a Statue of Charles I on the site of the original Eleanor Cross, once a three-way junction.
Charing Cross is located in Greater London
Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Location within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ302804
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLondon
Postcode districtWC2
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51.5073°N 0.12755°W / 51.5073; -0.12755

A bronze equestrian statue of Charles I, erected in 1675, stands on a high plinth, situated roughly where a medieval monumental cross had previously stood for 353 years (since its construction in 1294) until destroyed in 1647 by Cromwell and his revolutionary government. The famously beheaded King, appearing ascendant, is the work of French sculptor Hubert Le Sueur.

The aforementioned eponymous monument, the "Charing Cross", was the largest and most ornate instance of a chain of medieval Eleanor crosses running from Lincoln to this location. It was a landmark for many centuries of the hamlet of Charing, Westminster, which later gave way to government property; a little of The Strand; and Trafalgar Square. The cross in its various historical forms has also lent its name to its locality, and especially Charing Cross Station. On the forecourt of this terminus station stands the ornate Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross, a taller emulation of the original, and built to mark the station's opening in 1864 at the height and in the epicentre of the Gothic Revival after the Palace of Westminster's rebuilding and before Westminster Cathedral's construction.

Charing Cross is marked on contemporary maps as a road junction, though it is also a thoroughfare in postal addresses: Drummonds Bank, on the corner with The Mall, retains the address 49 Charing Cross and 1-4 Charing Cross continues to exist.[2][3] The name previously applied to the whole stretch of road between Great Scotland Yard and Trafalgar Square, but since 1 January 1931 most of this section of road has been designated part of the 'Whitehall' thoroughfare.[4] Since the early 19th century, Charing Cross has been the notional "centre of London" and is now the point from which distances from London are measured.