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Q: Four Crosses of London ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: Four Crosses of London
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: mediaspeed-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 25 Oct 2006 12:25 PDT
Expires: 24 Nov 2006 11:25 PST
Question ID: 776865
What is the  significance of "the four crosses of london?" As in London UK. 

From what I can tell it has something to do with Charing Cross (the
centre of London). I was challenged by a history major to unearth the
meaning of the four crosses of london. Please help

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 25 Oct 2006 14:33 PDT
Not an answer, only some thoughts:

What an interesting and puzzling question. The only logical idea
involving Charing Cross I have at the moment has, alas, one major
flaw. I'll explain:

I found out that Charing Cross was named for a huge stone cross
erected at the very location between 1291 and 1294. And there were
other big, well-known crosses in London: Paul's Cross, next to old St.
Paul's Cathedral, and Cheapside Cross. All those crosses were
landmarks of London. In 1643, Puritan-dominated parliament issued an
order to demolish all those crosses. So there is a historical
connection between Charing Cross and other London crosses. That would
make a nice answer ... but it lacks one cross, and I did not find a
4th cross to complete the "Four Crosses of London". So my suggestion
is most likely wrong, and the four crosses must be something

I hope that one of my colleagues will be able to solve the mystery ... 

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 25 Oct 2006 14:46 PDT
Could this be related to the Monarch's crown?

"This crown is composed, as all those of England are, of four crosses
and as many fleur de lis upon a rim or circle of gold, all embellished
with precious stones, from the tops of which crosses arise four
circular bars or arches, which meet at the top, and at the
intersection is the pedestal whereon is fixed the mound. The cap
within the crown is of purple velvet lined with white taffeta and
turned up with ermine, thickly powdered in three rows."


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Oct 2006 06:54 PDT
On a different track entirely, perhaps it is an obscure reference to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose blazon is marked with Four

Ya think?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: myoarin-ga on 25 Oct 2006 15:05 PDT
I believe these three are/were Eleanor Crosses:
# 2.10 Waltham (now Waltham Cross)
# 2.11 Westcheap (now known as Cheapside)
# 2.12 Charing (now Charing Cross)

King's Cross is younger, dating from an 1830 monument to George IV.
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: myoarin-ga on 25 Oct 2006 15:12 PDT
I forgot that I had saved this site on the Eleanor Crosses:
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: answerfinder-ga on 26 Oct 2006 03:08 PDT
I have lived and worked in London, and have a good knowledge of the
history of London. I am not familiar with the ?four crosses of
London?. myoarin-ga has posted above what I immediately thought of
when I saw your question. If you have any more clues, that may help.
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: myoarin-ga on 26 Oct 2006 06:12 PDT
My thoughts on the question were exactly Answerfinder's.  Since I
found that only three Eleanor crosses are in London, I included King's
Cross as the most obvious choice for a fourth.  The Eleanor Cross
preceding the ones I mention is St. Albans, which seems to be outside
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: thx1138-ga on 26 Oct 2006 08:28 PDT
A bit more on the Elanor Crosses
"Today only the crosses at Waltham Cross (Hertfordshire), Geddington, and 
Hardingstone (both Northamptonshire) remain, and the cross at Charing
is remembered only in the name Charing Cross."

Waltham Cross 
Geddington Cross
Hardingstone  Cross
Charing Cross

That makes four. The only problem is, they are not all in London.
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: thx1138-ga on 26 Oct 2006 08:49 PDT
Well,  There are only four pubs in London called The Cross (or Crosse) Keys...

The Cross Keys - Location: Chelsea
Address: 1 Lawrence Street, London, SW3 5NB [020 7349 9111]

The Cross Keys - Location: Covent Garden
Address: 31, Endell St, London, WC2H 9EB [020 7836 5185]

The Cross Keys - Location: Hammersmith
Address: 57 Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, London, W6 9BG [020 8748 3541]

The Crosse Keys (JD Wetherspoon) - Location: Bank
Address: 9 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0DR [020 7623 4824]


I know! Well it was worth a try :-)
Subject: Re: Four Crosses of London
From: myoarin-ga on 26 Oct 2006 13:25 PDT
Although I prefer my original suggestion, the pubs offer a less dry solution.
If we can use lateral thinking, the coats of arms of both the City of
London and Westminster have a cross.  I don't know about the arms for
other parts of London, but maybe someone else does.

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