The start of Eleanor's final journey
Once in the town Edward would have lodged at the castle and preparations could begin to be made for the burial of Eleanor’s viscera in the Cathedral and for the embalming of her heart and body for transport south.
It is often suggested (in reliance on WH Stevenson) that her body was embalmed at the priory of St Catherines, but there is no contemporaneous record of this, and the evidence suggests that this is a conflation of two events – the embalming and the memorial cross.
The priory of St Catherines stood slightly outside the city, to the south. It was therefore not particularly convenient for the Cathedral – and again at the wrong end of Steep Hill. The Dominicans (Eleanor’s favourite order of monks) however occupied a site at Silvergate by Pottergate much closer to the Cathedral and the Castle. They also had piped water - installed in 1260, which was a useful adjunct to the process of embalming. It is therefore rather more likely (as Jean Powrie argued) that Eleanor’s body was entrusted to them for embalming.
As for that process of embalming, we know that a bushel of barley was used – presumably to replace the lost bulk of the removed organs, as well as a pound of incense and about 7 metres of cloth, in which to wrap the body.