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Edward & Eleanor, Lincoln Cathedral

Eleanor of Castile was married at the age of ten to Edward of Westminster in October 1254 when he was just 15 years old. It was a marriage of convenience to suit Alphonso of Castile -Eleanor's brother, and Henry III of England -Edward's father, who were at war with one another.


Despite the original political intentions of their marriage, it is understood they were very much in Love. It is said that Edward and Eleanor were inseparable and she went on the crusades with him in 1270. When they returned and the King, Henry III died they were both crowned in Westminster Abbey on the 19th of August 1274.


In 1290 news reached Edward that Queen Margaret of Scotland, commonly known as The Maid of Norway, had died. He immediately hastened Northwards leaving Eleanor to follow at a more leisurely pace as she had just given birth to her 15th child (who did not survive).


On her arrival at Harby in Nottinghamshire about 8 miles from Lincoln she was taken ill with a fever. Eleanor did not improve and so the King was sent for but she died on the 24th of November 1290 before he arrived.


Her body was immediately carried to St Catherine's Priory in the south of Lincoln where she was embalmed. Her viscera was sent for burial in Lincoln Cathedral and her body was sent to London for burial in Westminster Abbey where she lies at the feet of her father in law King Henry III. Her heart which travelled with the body was buried in Blackfriars Church.


From St Catherine's at the bottom of "Cross o Cliff Hill in Lincoln the cortege took 12 days to get to London and between 1291 and 1294 for each place where the procession rested overnight an Eleanor's Cross was erected. The only remaining piece of the St Catherine's cross left in Lincoln is kept in Lincoln Castle.

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Taken on March 24, 2006