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Building the first Charing Cross
The original Charing Cross was built in 1291-1294 by Edward I in memory of his wife, Queen Eleanor of Castile.
It was the most splendid of the twelve Eleanor Crosses erected to mark the successive places where her body rested on its way from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey, and it stood near here until it was destroyed in 1647.
Richard of Crundale and Roger of Crundale were the master masons.
The stone came from Corfe in Dorset and Caen in Normandy; Richard of Corfe and John of Corfe cut the English stone.
Alexander of Abingdon and William of Ireland carved the statues of Queen Eleanor which stood halfway up the Cross, and Ralph of Chichester carved some of the decoration.
Many others whose names are forgotten took part in the work: quarrymen, rough-hewers, masons, mortarers, layers, setters, carpenters, thatchers, scaffolders, labourers, falcon or crane-men, apprentices, hodmen, drivers, horsemen and boatmen.
These pictures of them are by David Gentleman.