The Geddington Cross is one of twelve monuments dedicated to Queen Eleanor who died in 1290. Each monument marks the resting place of the funeral procession, led by widower King Edward I, as they travelled from Lincoln to London.
The Geddington Cross is the most complete and best preserved Eleanor Cross. It was erected in 1294 and features canopied statues beneath a slim hexagonal pinnacle.
Around the time of Eleanor's death, Geddington was the site of a royal hunting lodge. A bridge had just been completed over the River Ise resulting in the village becoming a magnet for travellers; especially royalty. Records show that Edward and Eleanor often stayed at the lodge to hunt and they worshipped at the Saxon church. (The current church dates from Norman times).
It was fitting, therefore, that the cortege on its long journey to Westminster Abbey in London would stop here, and it was here that Edward later commissioned the Geddington Cross.
In the 19th century, one of Geddington's school tutees later became one of the country's most influential Prime Ministers, William Gladstone, whose term in office spanned 26 years. Coincidentally, his funeral also took place in Westminster Abbey.
The plinth of the Geddington Cross is unusual in that it has a triangular cross-section. Geddington is also unusual in that it owns the only known crime sheet in the world for Queen Eleanor! (See the village website: www.geddington.net/...)