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Coordinates: 51°29′58″N 0°08′00″W / 51.4995°N 0.1333°W / 51.4995; -0.1333

Palace of Westminster, London - Feb 2007.jpg
The Palace of Westminster.
Westminster is located in Greater London

 Westminster shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ295795
    - Charing Cross 0.5 mi (0.8 km)  NE
London borough Westminster
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW1
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Cities of London and Westminster
London Assembly West Central
List of places: UK • England • London

Westminster is an area of Central London, within the City of Westminster. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) southwest of Charing Cross. It has a large concentration of London's historic and prestigious landmarks and visitor attractions, including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

Historically a part of Middlesex, the name Westminster was the ancient description for the area around Westminster Abbey – the West Minster, or monastery church, that gave the area its name – which has been the seat of the government of England (and later the British government) for almost a thousand years. Westminster is the location of the Palace of Westminster, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


The name Westminster describes the area around Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster, – the West Minster, or monastery church, west of the City of London's St Paul's, that gave the area its name–which has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years. The name is also used for the larger City of Westminster which covers a wider geographical area; and, since 1965, has included the former boroughs of Marylebone and Paddington.

The historic core of Westminster is the former Thorney Island on which Westminster Abbey was built. The Abbey became the traditional venue of the coronation of the kings and queens of England. The nearby Palace of Westminster came to be the principal royal residence after the Norman conquest of England in 1066, and later housed the developing Parliament and law courts of England. It can be said that London thus has developed two distinct focal points: an economic one in the City of London; and a political and cultural one in Westminster, where the Royal Court had its home. This division is still very apparent today.

Westminster in 1593.

The monarchy later moved to the Palace of Whitehall a little towards the north-east. The law courts have since moved to the Royal Courts of Justice, close to the border of the City of London. The area is still the centre of government, with Parliament now located in the Palace of Westminster and most of the major Government ministries situated in Westminster, centred on Whitehall. "Westminster" is thus often used as a metonym for Parliament and the political community of the United Kingdom generally. The civil service is similarly referred to by the area it inhabits, "Whitehall", and "Westminster" is consequently also used in reference to the Westminster System, the parliamentary model of democratic government that has evolved in the United Kingdom. The Westminster System is used with some adaptation in many other nations, particularly in the Commonwealth of Nations and other parts of the former British Empire.

Close to the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey is Westminster School, one of the major English public schools. Three of the four campuses of the University of Westminster are within the greater London borough of the City of Westminster, although none in the ancient area of Westminster.

The area has a substantial residential population, a surprisingly large proportion of which is a traditional London working class community living in council and Peabody Trust estates at the back of Westminster Abbey and off Millbank. There is also a substantial working class community in the north of the borough.

The term Westminster Village, sometimes used in the context of British politics, does not refer to a geographical area at all; employed especially in the phrase Westminster Village gossip, it denotes a supposedly close social circle of Members of Parliament, political journalists, so-called spin doctors and others connected to events in the Palace of Westminster.

Bibliographic references

  • Manchee, W. H. (1924) The Westminster City Fathers (the Burgess Court of Westminster) 1585-1901: Being some account of their powers and domestic rule of the City prior to its incorporation in 1901; with a foreword by Walter G. Bell and 36 illustrations which relate to documents (some pull-outs) and artefacts. London: John Lane (The Bodley Head)
  • Davies, E. A. (1952) An Account of the Formation and Early Years of The Westminster Fire Office; (Includes black and white photographic plates with a colour frontispiece of 'A Waterman' and a foreword by Major K. M. Beaumont. London: Country Life Limited for the Westminster Fire Office

External links

London/Westminster travel guide from Wikitravel


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Westminster (disambiguation).

Westminster is an inland city in Orange County in Southern California.

Get in

By car

Accessible by Interstate 405 and 22 Freeway.

By air

Accessible by either John Wayne Airport or Long Beach Airport. Los Angeles International, Burbank International, Ontario International, Palm Springs International, or San Diego International all within 1.5 hour/100 mi. radius.

By bus

Accessible by OCTA or Greyhound.

By train

Amtrak California Surfliner/Metrolink serves several locations throughout Orange County.

Get around

Use a car, walk, or bus is advisable. Hitchhiking is not. Jet/Rocket-packs are restricted by city ordinance.

  • Little Saigon
  • Ice Palace, 13071 Springdale St., PH: (714) 899-7900. Ice Palace is an indoor skating rink. [1]
  • Larry Flint's Hustler Club, 7000 Garden Grove Blvd, PH: (714) 891-1430. After you drop mom and the kids off at the skating rink, jolt down the street for drinks, lunch specials, and live adult entertainment. Bow chicka wah wah.
  • Westminster Mall, 1025 Westminster Mall (Located off Golden West exit from the 405 freeway), (714) 898-2558. Westminster Mall is anchored by Macy's, JCPenney, Sears, and Target. It features more than 180 specialty stores. It's food court was immortalized by punk rock group The Vandals in their song Cafe 405., [2].  edit

Exotic silks, objets d'art, food stuffs, and other items are readily available in Westminster, whether at the Westminster Mall, ultra-luxurious South Coast Plaza down the road, or Little Saigon.

  • Lee's Sandwiches. Hot baguettes, fresh sandwiches, traditional Vietnamese sandwiches, fruit smoothies, coffee and French pastries are wonderful choices for a nice snack or quick meal. Several locations including some with drive-through windows.
  • Tommy's Original Hamburgers, 7000 Westminster Blvd (located on southwest corner of Beach Blvd. and Westminster Blvd. instersection), PH: (714) 895-4320. Tommy's is a true Southern California staple with it's chili cheeseburgers and fries. [3]
  • Taqueria Mexico, 14022 Springdale St, PH: (714) 894-5850. Enjoy authentic Mexican tacos and burritos at this affectionately-described hole in the wall. Open 24 hours.
  • S Vietnamese Fine Dining, 545 Westminster Mall Drive, +1-714-898-5092 (). A combination of East meets West. French dishes with a Vietnamese flair are a specialty at this Zagat's-rated restaurant. Be sure to try the Escargots baked in sweet coconut curry sauce with garlic and basil. A relaxing atmosphere highlights the restaurant accompanied by an excellent staff. $$$.  edit
  • Michael's Sports Pub and Grill, 15192 Goldenwest St, PH: (714) 373-5665. Michael's is a great place to watch sports, play bar games, and drink large glasses of cold beer with your friends. It has great appetizers and nightly drink specials. It features a bit of a younger crowd though inland of it's Huntington Beach counterparts.

Several Bars, Liquor Stores, and Supermarkets with Spirituous beverage sections populate the area. Most restaurants serve a collection of world beers, wines, and spirits.

  • Best Western Palm Garden Inn, 13659 Beach Boulevard, +1 714 373-3200 (toll free: +1 800 432-6343, fax: +1 714 895-5801), [4].  edit
  • Best Western Westminster Inn, 5755 Westminster, +1 714 898-4043 (fax: +1 714 895-6151), [5].  edit
  • Motel 6 Westminster North, 13100 Goldenwest Street, +1 714 895-0042 (fax: +1 714 894-3423), [6].  edit
  • Motel 6 Westminster South - Long Beach, 6266 Westminster Avenue, +1 714 891-5366 (fax: +1 714 373-4287), [7].  edit
  • Beach or Under Freeway Overpass Camping Choice of European Backpackers.
  • Disneyland - Spend a day at the Happiest Place on Earth. Located off the 22 Freeway in nearby Anaheim.
Routes through Westminster
Los AngelesLong Beach  N noframe S  Fountain ValleyIrvine
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

="">See Westminster (disambiguation) for articles sharing the title Westminster.

WESTMINSTER, a part of London, England; strictly a city in the administrative county of London, bounded E. by "the City," S. by the river Thames, W. by the boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington, and N. by Paddington, St Marylebone and Holborn. Westminster was formed into a borough by the London Government Act of 1899, and by a royal charter of the 29th of October 1900 it was created a. city. The council consists of a mayor, To aldermen and 60 councillors. The city comprises the parliamentary boroughs of the Strand, Westminster and St George's, Hanover Square, each returning one member. Area, 2502.7 acres. The City of Westminster, as thus depicted, extends from the western end of Fleet Street to Kensington Gardens, and from Oxford Street to the Thames, which it borders over a distance of 3 m., between Victoria (Chelsea) Bridge and a point below Waterloo Bridge. It thus includes a large number of the finest buildings in London, from the Law Courts in the east to the Imperial Institute in the west, Buckingham and St James's palaces, the National Gallery, and most of the greatest residences of the wealthy classes. But the name of Westminster is more generally associated with a more confined area, namely, the quarter which includes the Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the government and other buildings in Whitehall, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the parts immediately adjacent to these.

Table of contents

Westminster Abbey

The Abbey of St Peter is the most widely celebrated church in the British empire. The Thames, bordered in early times by a great expanse of fen on either hand from Chelsea and Battersea downward, washed, at the point where the Abbey stands, one shore of a low island perhaps three-quarters of a mile in circumference, known as Thorney or Bramble islet. Tributary streams from the north formed channels through the marsh, flanking the island north and south, and were once connected by a dyke on the west. These channels belonged to the Tyburn, which flowed from the high ground of Hampstead. Relics of the Roman occupation have been excavated in the former island, and it is supposed that traffic on the Watling Street, from Dover to Chester, crossed the Thames and the marshes by way of Thorney before the construction of London Bridge; the road continuing north-west in the line of the modern Park Lane (partly) and Edgware Road. Tradition places on the island a temple of Apollo, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius. On the site King Lucius is said to have founded a church (c. A.D. 170). The irruption of the Saxons left Thorney desolate. Traditional still, but supported by greater probability, a story states that Sebert, eastern cloister walk), and choir of polygonal apsidal form, with six chapels (four polygonal) opening north and south of it, and an eastern Lady Chapel, known as Henry VII.'s chapel. There are two western towers, but in the centre a low square tower hardly rises above the pitch of the roof. The main entrance in common use is that in the north transept. The chapter-house, cloisters and other conventual buildings and remains lie to the south. The total length of the church (exterior) is 531 ft. and of the transepts 203 ft. in all. The breadth of the nave without the aisles is 38 ft. 7 in. and its height close upon 102 ft. These dimensions are very slightly lessened in the choir. Without, viewed from the open Parliament Square to the north, the beautiful proportions of the building are readily realized, but it is somewhat dwarfed by the absence of a central tower and by the vast adjacent pile of the Houses of Parliament. From this point (considered as a building merely) it appears only as a secondary unit in a magnificent group. Seen from the west, however, it is the dominant unit, but here it is impossible to overlook the imperfect conception of the "Gothic humour" (as he himself termed it) manifested by Wren, from whose designs the western towers were completed in 1740. The north front, called Solomon's Porch from a former porch over the main entrance, is from the designs of Sir G. G. Scott, considerably altered by J. L. Pearson.

Within, the Abbey is a superb example of the pointed style. The body of the church has a remarkable appearance of uniformity, because, although the building of the new nave was continued with intermissions from the 14th century until Tudor times, the broad design of the Early English work in the eastern part of the church was carried on throughout. The choir, with its unusual form and radiating chapels, plainly follows French models, but the name of the architect is lost. Exquisite ornament is seen in the triforium arcade, and between some of the arches in the transept are figures, especially finely carved, though much mutilated, known as the censing angels. Henry VII.'s Chapel replaces an earlier Lady Chapel, and is the most remarkable building of its period. It comprises a nave with aisles, and an apsidal eastward end formed of five small radiating chapels. Both within and without it is ornamented with an extraordinary wealth and minuteness of detail. A splendid series of carved oak stalls lines each side of the nave, and above them hang the banners of the Knights of the Bath, of whom this was the place of installation when the Order was reconstituted in 1725. The fan-traceried roof, with its carved stone pendants, is the most exquisite architectural feature of the chapel.

The choir stalls in the body of the church are modern, as is the organ, a fine instrument with an "echo" attachment, electrically connected, in the triforium of the south transept. The reredos is by Sir G. G. Scott, with mosaic by Salviati. In Abbot Islip's chapel there is a series of effigies in wax, representing monarchs and others. The earliest, which is well preserved, is of Charles II., but remnants of older figures survive. Some of the effigies were carried in funeral processions according to custom, but this was not done later than 1 735. There are, however, figures of Lord Chatham and Nelson, set up by the officials who received the fees fdrmerly paid by visitors to the exhibition.

But the peculiar fame of the Abbey lies not in its architecture, nor in its connexion with the metropolis alone, but in the fact that it has long been the place of the coronation of sovereigns and the burial-place of many of them and of their greatest subjects. The original reason for this was the reverence monies attaching to the memory of the Confessor, whose shrine and monu- stands in the central chapel behind the high altar. The Norman kings were ready to do honour to his name. From William the Conqueror onward every sovereign has been crowned here excepting Edward V. The coronation chairs stand in the Confessor's chapel. That used by the sovereign dates from the time of Edward I., and contains beneath its seat the stone of Scone, or stone of destiny, on which the Celtic kings were crowned. It is of Scottish origin, but tradition identifies it with Jacob's pillow at Bethel. Here also are kept the sword and shield of Edward III., still used in the coronation ceremony. The second chair was made for Mary, consort of William III. Subsequent to the Conquest many kings and queens were buried here, from Henry III. to George II. Not all the graves are marked, but of those which are the tomb of Henry VII. and his queen, Elizabeth of York, the central object in his own chapel, is the finest. The splendid recumbent effigies in bronze, of Italian workmanship, rest upon a tomb of black marble, and the whole is enclosed in a magnificent shrine of wrought brass. Monuments, tombs, busts and memorials crowd the choir, its chapels and the transepts, nor is the nave wholly free of them. All but the minority of the Gothic period (among which the canopied tombs of Edmund Crouchback and Aymer de Valence, in the sanctuary, are notable) appear incongruous in a Gothic setting. Many of the memorials are not worthy of their position as works of art, nor are the subjects they commemorate always worthy to lie here, for the high honour of burial in the Abbey was not always so conscientiously guarded as now. Eliminating these considerations, however, a wonderful range of sculptural art is found. A part of the south transept is famed under the name of the Poet's Corner. The north transept contains many monuments to statesmen.

The monastery was dissolved in 1539, and Westminster was then erected into a bishopric, but only one prelate, Thomas Thurleby, held the office - of bishop. In 1553 Mary again appointed an abbot, but Elizabeth reinstated the dean, with twelve pre- other bendaries. Of the conventual buildings, the cloisters are of the 13th and 14th centuries. On the south side of the southern walk remains of a wall of the refectory are seen from without. From the eastern walk a porch gives entry to the chapter house and the chapel of the Pyx. The first is of the time of Henry III., a fine octagonal building, its vaulted roof supported by a slender clustered column of marble. It was largely restored by Sir Gilbert Scott. There are mural paintings of the 14th and 15th centuries. The chapel or chamber of the Pyx is part of the undercroft of the original dormitory, and is early Norman work of the Confessor's time. It was used as a treasury for the regalia and other articles of value in early times, and here were kept the standard coins of the realm used in the trial of the pyx now carried out at the Mint. The undercroft is divided into compartments by walls, and part of it appears in the gymnasium of Westminster School. Above it is now the chapter library. To the south-east lies the picturesque Little Cloister, with its court and fountain, surrounded by residences of canons and officials. Near it are slight ruins of the monastic infirmary chapel of St Catherine. West of the main cloisters are the Deanery, Jerusalem chamber and College Hall, the building surrounding a small court and dating in fabric mainly from the 14th century. This was the Abbot's house. Its most famous portion is the Jerusalem chamber, believed to be named from the former tapestries on its walls, representing the holy city. Here died Henry IV. in 1413, as set forth in Shakespeare's Henry IV. (Pt. ii., Act iv. Sc. 4). It is a beautiful room, with open timber roof, windows partly of stained glass, and walls tapestried and panelled. The College Hall, adjoining it, is of similar construction, but plainly fitted in the common manner of a refectory, with a dais for the high table at the north and a gallery at the south. It is now the dining-hall of Westminster School.

Westminster School

St Peter's College, commonly called Westminster School, is one of the most ancient and eminent public schools in England, and the only school of such standing still occupying its original site in London. A school was maintained by the monks from very early times. Henry VIII. took steps to raise it in importance, but the school owes its present eminence to Queen Elizabeth, who is commemorated as the foundress at a Latin commemoration service held periodically in the Abbey, where, moreover, the daily school service is held. The school buildings lie east of the conventual buildings, surrounding Little Dean's Yard, which, like the cloisters, communicates with Dean's Yard, in which are the picturesque houses of the headmaster, canons of the Abbey, and others. The buildings are modern or large modernized. The Great Schoolroom king of the East Saxons, having taken part in the foundation of St Paul's Cathedral, restored or refounded the church at Thorney "to the honour of God and St Peter, on the west side of the City of London" (Stow). A splendid legend relates the coming of St Peter in person to hallow his new church. The sons of Sebert relapsed into idolatry and left the church to the mercy of the Danes. A charter of Offa, king of Mercia (785), deals with the conveyance of certain land to the monastery of St Peter; and King Edgar restored the church, clearly defining by a charter dated 951 (not certainly genuine) the boundary of Westminster, which may be indicated in modern terms as extending from the Marble Arch south to the Thames and east to the City boundary, the former river Fleet. Westminster was a Benedictine foundation. In 1050 Edward the Confessor took up the erection of a magnificent new church, cruciform, with a central and two western towers. Its building continued after his death, but it was consecrated on Childermas Day, 28th December 1065; and on the following "twelfth mass eve" the king died, being buried next day in the church. In 1245 Henry III. set about the rebuilding of the church east of the nave, and at this point it becomes necessary to describe the building as it now appears.

Westminster Abbey is a cruciform structure consisting of nave with aisles, transepts with aisles (but in the south transept the place of the western aisle is occupied by the is a fine panelled hall, bearing on its walls the arms and names of many eminent alumni; it is entered by a gateway attributed to Inigo Jones, also covered with names. Ashburnham House, now containing one of the school houses, the library and class-rooms, is named from the family for whom it was built, traditionally but not certainly, by Inigo Jones. The finest part remaining is the grand staircase. The number of scholars, called King's Scholars, on the foundation is 60, of which 40, who are boarders, represent the original number. The great proportion of the boys are home boarders (Town Boys). In the College dormitory a Latin play is annually presented, in accordance with ancient custom. It is preceded by a prologue, and followed by a humorous epilogue, in Latin adapted to subjects of the moment. Other customs for which the school is noted are the acclamation of the sovereign at coronation in the Abbey, in accordance with a privilege jealously held by the boys; and the "Pancake Greaze," a struggle in the Great Schoolroom on Shrove Tuesday to obtain possession of a pancake carrying with it a reward from the Dean. The number of boys is about 250. Valuable close scholarships and exhibitions at Christ Church, Oxford, and Trinity College, Cambridge, are awarded annually.

St Margaret's

On the north side of the Abbey, close beside it, is the parish church of St Margaret. It was founded in or soon after the time of the Confessor, but the present building is Perpendicular, of greater beauty within than without. St Margaret's is officially the church of the House of Commons. It is frequently the scene of fashionable weddings, which are rarely held in the Abbey. On the south side of Dean's Yard is the Church House, a memorial of Queen Victoria's Jubilee (1887), consisting of a spacious hall of brick and stone, with offices for numerous Church societies.

Westminster Palace: Houses of Parliament

A royal palace existed at Westminster at least as early as the reign of Canute, but the building spoken of by Fitzstephen as an "incomparable structure furnished with a breastwork and a bastion" is supposed to have been founded by Edward the Confessor and enlarged by William the Conqueror. The Hall, called Westminster Hall, was built by William Rufus and altered by Richard II. In 151 2 the palace suffered greatly from fire, and thereafter ceased to be used as a royal residence. St Stephen's chapel, originally built by King Stephen, was used from 1547 for the meetings of the House of Commons, which had been held previously in the chapter house of the Abbey. The Lords used another apartment of the palace, but on the 16th of October 1834 the whole of the buildings, except the hall, was burnt down. In 1840 the building of the New Palace, or Houses of Parliament, began, and it was completed in 1867, at a cost of about three millions sterling. (For plan, &c., see Architecture: Modern.) It covers an area of about 8 acres, and has a frontage of about 300 yds. to the Thames. The architect was Sir Charles Barry, and the style is late Perpendicular.

Towards the river it presents a rich facade with a terrace rising directly from the water. At the south-west corner rises the vast Victoria tower, above the royal entrance, 340 ft. high, and 75 ft. square. At the north is the clock tower, 320 ft. high, bearing the great clock which chimes the quarters on four bells, and strikes the hours on a bell weighing over 13 tons, named Big Ben after Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner of Works at the time when the clock was erected. The building incorporates Westminster Hall, which measures 290 ft. in length, 68 in width, and 90 in height. It has a magnificent open roof of carved oak, and is used as the vestibule of the Houses of Parliament. Of the modern rooms, the House of Peers is a splendidly ornate chamber, 97 ft. in length; that of the Commons is 70 ft. long, and less lavishly adorned. The sitting of parliament is signified by a flag on Victoria Tower in daytime and by a light at the summit of the clock tower at night.


Northward from Parliament Square a broad, slightly curving thoroughfare leads to Trafalgar Square. This is Whitehall, which replaced the narrow King Street. Here, between the Thames and St James's Park, formerly stood York House, a residence of the archbishops of York from 1248. Wolsey beautified the mansion and kept high state there, but on his disgrace Henry VIII. acquired and reconstructed it, employed Holbein in its decoration, and made it his principal residence. Inigo Jones designed a magnificent new palace for James I., but only the banqueting hall was completed (1622), and this survived several fires, by one of which (1697) nearly the whole of the rest of the palace was destroyed. The hall, converted into a royal chapel by George I., and now housing the museum of the Royal United Service Institution, the buildings of which adjoin it, is a fine specimen of Palladian architecture, and its ceiling is adorned with allegorical paintings by Rubens, restored and rehung in 1907. The museum contains military and naval relics, models and other exhibits. Through this hall Charles I. passed on his way to execution beneath its windows; and the palace was the scene of the death of Henry VIII., Cromwell and Charles II.

The principal government offices are situated in Whitehall. On the left, following the northerly direction, are buildings completed in 1908, from the designs of J. M. Brydon, for the Boards of Education, Trade, Local Government, &c. The Home, Foreign, Colonial and India Offices occupy the next block, a heavy building, adorned with allegorical figures, by Sir G. G. Scott (1873). Downing Street, separating these from the Treasury, contains the official residences of the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Treasury itself dates from 1737, but the facade is by Sir Charles Barry. The Horse Guards, containing the offices of various military departments, is a low but not unpicturesque building surrounding a court-yard, built in 1753 on the site of a guard-house for the security of Whitehall palace, dating from 1631. On the parade ground between it and St James's Park the ceremony of trooping the colour is held at the celebration of the sovereign's birthday. The portion of the Admiralty facing Whitehall dates from 1726 and is plain and sombre; but there are handsome new buildings on the Park side. On the right of Whitehall, besides the banquet hall, are the fine War Office, completed in 1906, from the designs of W. Young, and Montagu House, the residence of the duke of Buccleuch. In front of the War Office an equestrian statue of the duke of Cambridge (d. 1904) was unveiled in 1907.

Trafalgar Square is an open space sloping sharply to the north. On the south side, facing the entry of Whitehall, is the Nelson column (1843) by W. Railton, 145 ft. in height, a copy in granite from the temple of Mars Ultor in Rome, crowned with a statue of Nelson by E. H. Baily, and having at its base four colossal lions in bronze modelled by Sir Edwin Landseer. The centre of the square is levelled and paved with asphalte, and contains two fountains. There are statues of George IV., Napier, Havelock and Gordon. Behind the terrace on the north rises the National Gallery (1838), a Grecian building by William Wilkins, subsequently much enlarged, with its splendid collection of paintings. The ,National Portrait Gallery is contained in a building (1895) on the north-east side of the National Gallery.

Westminster Cathedral

A short distance back from Victoria Street, towards its western end, stands Westminster Cathedral (Roman Catholic). Its foundation stone was laid by Cardinal Vaughan on 29th June, 1895. Just eight years later its fabric was complete, and June 1903 saw both the Cardinal's Requiem Mass and Elgar's first London performance of "The Dream of Gerontius" held in its towering nave. Once free of mortgage, the consecration took place on 28th June, 1910. Its site is somewhat circumscribed, and this and its great bulk renders difficult any real appreciation of its complex outline; but its stately domed campanile, 283 ft. in height, forms a landmark from far over London. The style was described by the architect, J. F. Bentley, as early Christian Byzantine, and the material is mainly red brick outside, and yellow London brick inside. The extreme length is 360 ft., the breadth 156 ft., the breadth of the nave 60 ft., and its height (domes within)is 112 ft.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


Westminster (or the City of Westminster)

  1. A borough of London; it includes the principal offices of the British government

Related terms

Simple English

Westminster is the central part of the City of Westminster, in London. It is on northern side the River Thames. It contains the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, Downing Street and Westminster Abbey.


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