Many of us are familiar with the story of Charing Cross and why it was so named (see our earlier post here), but maybe not so much with another of London’s ‘crosses’ – Strand Cross.

Earlier this week we posted a story on St Mary le Strand – one of the details we didn’t mention (deliberately, it has to be said) was that the current church now stands on the site once occupied by the cross.

Believed to have dated from at least Norman times, Strand Cross – which stood just outside the city gates – may have begun life as a market cross and it’s recorded that in the 13th century, justices held court in front of it.

By the early 14th century has been rather elaborately rebuilt in a fashion not unlike that of the Eleanor Crosses.

In the late 17th century, the cross – which had apparently already lost its top – was replaced by a windmill to pump water – apparently there was a well or spring nearby – and this in turn was later replaced by one of London’s most famous maypoles (we’ll be looking at maypoles in more detail in a later post).

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