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Westminster

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Westminster (disambiguation).
Westminster
OS Grid ReferenceTemplate:Gbmappingsmall
Administration
BoroughWestminster
County Greater London
RegionGreater London
NationEngland
Other
Ceremonial CountyGreater London
Traditional CountyMiddlesex
Post Office and Telephone
Post townLONDON
PostcodeSW1
Dialling Code020

Westminster is the area located immediately to the west of the ancient City of London, in the centre of the wider conurbation of London. The name was historically used to describe the area around Westminster Abbey – the West Minster, or church, that gave the area its name – which has been the seat of the government of England for more than nine hundred years. The name is also used for the modern administrative entity of the City of Westminster, which covers a wider geographical area encompassing the former villages of Marylebone, Paddington and Tyburn – now collectively described as London's West End.

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 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. Although the monarch had a strong presence in the City of London in the shape of the Tower of London, he did not actually live there (sensibly enough, given London's volatility and insanitary nature). London thus developed two distinct focal points – an economic one in the City of London and a political/cultural one in Westminster, where the Royal Court had its home. This division is still very apparent today.

The monarchy later moved to other palaces elsewhere in the city, and 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 shorthand for Parliament and the political community of the United Kingdom generally. The civil service is similarly referred to by the area it inhabits, Whitehall, where there was also once a royal palace. "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 borough.fr:Westminster nl:Westminster no:Westminster, London

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