Queen Eleanor and her Iconography: Remaking Eleanor's image
Queen Eleanor is a iconic cultural figure whose presence in the English Built Environment is ever present and somehow missing. Small Signs and signifiers alongside massive monuments dot the English Landscape but somehow these clues, to a deeply important figure in British History, are ignored and walked past without a second look. The monuments are either so obvious to a passerby that they are ignored due to the scale of their mass. Or the plaques, signifying the designation of an original site of importance related to Eleanor, are so hidden that even if you are looking for the objects or looking straight at them you will probably miss them.
Eleanor Death and the Eleanor Crosses
Much of the Imagery surrounding Eleanor is now found along a path between Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Its placement in the English Landscape was due to Eleanor's Death in Harby near Lincoln in 1290. This event led to a major episode in English History, perhaps similar to the events after the death of Diana Prince of Wales, where by royal protocol, ceremony, logistics, and medieval etiquette all had to be arranged for the funeral in London. Firstly her body was moved to a local monastery in Lincoln where her body was eviscerated, i.e. the organs removed, this was done for logical reasons due to the nature of human decomposition, so that her body remained stable over the 12 days journey to London. During those 12 days she was transported and rested in state in many of the most important places in Eleanor's life and also of religious significance in England: Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone, Stoney Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, West Cheap, Charing, and the final stop Westminster Abbey. Once this journey had been completed and Eleanor layed to rest Edward the First ordered the creation of 12 Crosses to honor Eleanors wife to leave a lasting imprint on England culture which last to this day 700 years later. For more information on these crosses please follow as this website is updated on each site visited on Eleanor's procession.
As part of the Reproduction of the Lincoln Cross, which has started in Charleston South Carolina (see page Lincoln: Angels and Demons or Rebuilding a medieval Master Piece), The Stone People Project is reproducing a new Eleanor Statue, starting Fall 2015 and projected for completion in 2017. This page will not only showcase many of the images left of Eleanor but also the process in the creation of this new statue.
Queen Eleanor Circa 1293-95 Carved by Alexander of Abingdon removed from the Waltham Cross Circa 1953 and now stands in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Queen Eleanor's Tomb Westminster Abbey
Eleanors Tomb in WestMinster Abbey was created by Richard Crundale. Carved upon the tomb you can see the three coats of arms which continually are shown Connecting Eleanor's Family and family home, Castile and Leon Spain, with England's royal linage. Atop the tomb behind the forged iron work, created by Thomas of Leighton Buzzard you can see Eleanor's Iconic gilt bronze effigy created by the goldsmith William Torel.
The Norman-French Inscription on the tomb reads
"Here lies Eleanor, sometime Queen of England, wife of King Edward son of King Henry, and daughter of the King of Spain and Countess of Ponthieu, on whose soul God in His pity have mercy. Amen".
Eleanors Effigy Westminster Abbey
A gilt bronze casting William Torel circa 1293
Eleanors Effigy Lincoln Cathedral
Queen Eleanor sits atop Eleanors tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. This casting and the tomb is not original which was destroyed during the civil war but bears all the hallmarks of the image in Westminster Abbey.
Edward I & Queen Eleanor
Edward the I and Queen Eleanor are depicted on Lincoln Cathedrals South elevation of the Angel Choir. They where both present when The angel Choir was consecrated in 1280. Presumably they had a hand in the financing of this structure.
Queen Eleanor Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Eleanor Cross
The last remanant of the original cross to stand on the Lincoln Site, Probably below the cathedral by the Lincoln Priory in the Valley, is the lower part of one of the Original Eleanor Statues.
Harby All Saints Church
Eleanors Statue can be seen on the parish Church of All Saints Harby, approx ten miles from Lincoln. This structure was built in 1875-76 and was adjacent to the site where Eleanor spent her last night at the manor Hall of Richard de Weston. Note Eleanors Crests adorning the wall.
Eleanor on Geddington Cross
Eleanor on Charing Cross
Eleanor on Hardingstone Cross, Northampton
Eleanor Waltham Cross
Elweanor has hundreds of streets signs marking her memory throughout England.
Eleanor at the Victoria and Albert Museum
The Waltham Cross was restored in 1953 and the three original Statues where taken down. The image her shows one of the statues displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Eleanor at the Victoria & Albert Museum
The first step in producing a scale model of Eleanor for Lincoln City is to create an image which can give us measurements and graphic details for reproduction. In Summer 2015 these images where taken with a tape measure included for an accurate understanding of size.