The site of the present Trafalgar Square has a long history of planned development. In the 8-9th century, it marked the western edge of the Anglo-Saxon trading town of Lundenwic. In the Middle Ages the area of open fields was known as the village of Charing.

The original Charing Cross was a marker on the burial route of Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I. Due to its location between the old city of London and the Royal Palace and Abbey at Westminster, Charing Cross became a popular meeting place.

From the mid 13th century the site acted as the Royal mews and stables. In 1812 John Nash devised a scheme to transform the area, but died before his vision was realised. Other proposals also failed to materialise. In 1840 Sir Charles Barry planned the present Square, named after Nelson�s Battle of Trafalgar.

Detail of Charing Village, Ralph Aggas Map of the West End,
1658 Westminster City Archive
Engraving of the King�s Mews
Westminster City Archive
Design for Roman Coliseum, John Goldicutt,
1832 RIBA Drawings Collection
Sir Charles Barry�s plan of Trafalgar Square,
1830 Public Record Office
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