"WESTMINSTER, comprising the parishes of St. Margaret and St. John, it is a city and metropolitan borough locally in the Kensington division of Ossulstone hundred, county Middlesex, about 1½ mile S.W. of St. Paul's cathedral. It is a place of great antiquity, having been, as is said, the site of a temple to Apollo in the Roman times; but the present city dates from the beginning of the 7th century, when Sebert, king of the East Saxons, erected the Abbey church on Thorney Island, then a marshy spot, almost surrounded by water, and named it "West Mynstre," in contradistinction to the East Minster, or St. Paul's, which had been previously founded by Ethelbert. The city of Westminster, as it is correctly called, by reason of its containing the abbey, which is a cathedral church, includes the whole of the court portion of the metropolis, extending along the N. bank of the Thames for about 3½ miles-viz:, from Temple Bar in the E. to beyond Kensington Palace in the W., and has a varying breadth of from half a mile to 2 miles. Its boundaries are the city of London proper on the E. and N.E., the Thames on the S. and S.E., Oxford Street on the N., and an irregular line on the W., running from Kensington gardens towards Chelsea Hospital. " (There is more of this description).
Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868), transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003; intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.