Westminster, a city in Middlesex, forming a main part of the metropolis. It adjoins London city on the E, it is bounded by Oxford Street on the N, and by the Thames on the S; it extends beyond Kensington Palace and to Chelsea Hospital on the W; it measures about 3½ miles from E to W, and from half a mile to 2 miles from N to S; it stands compactly all round with other parts of the metropolis; it contains St James' Park, the Green Park, Hyde Park, and sixteen squares; and except for including these open places and some minor ones it is all completely edificed. It took its name from a great minster, founded in the early part of the 7th century, and called West Minster in distinction from the original St Paul's of London, which was called East Minster; it grew slowly around that edifice on a marshy spot designated Thorney Island, adjacent to the Thames; it ranked as merely a "lordship" or a "manor" in 1088; it became the seat of the sovereign, the parliament, and the courts of law; it nevertheless has never acquired any municipality, but is simply an adjunct of the municipality of London city; it was constituted a parliamentary borough with two representatives in the time of Edward VI.; it comprises the parishes of Westminster St Margaret and Westminster St John, and the extra-parochial tract of Westminster Abbey or the close of the collegiate church of St Peter, constituting Westminster proper; and it comprises further the parishes of St Anne Soho, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St James Westminster, St Martin-in-the Fields, St Mary-le-Strand, and St Paul Covent Garden, and the precinct of St John Baptist Savoy, constituting Westminster liberties or borough. It contains very numerous post offices under London W and London SW; it contains also the central railway stations of Charing Cross and Pimlico or Victoria; and it commands from these points and from other near ones immediate railway communication with all parts of the kingdom. Its history, its topography, many of its public buildings, and most matters relating to its general structure, its institutions, and its statistics, will be found under LONDON, and do not call for further notice here.
Land and Property
A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.
Online maps of Westminster are available from a number of sites: