Metropolitan Borough of Westminster

Metropolitan Borough of Westminster
Motto: Custodi Civitatem Domine (O Lord, watch over the City)
Metropolitan Borough of Westminster shown within the County of London
Westminster within the County of London
Status metropolitan borough
City (1900)
1911 area 2,503 acres (10.13 km2)[1]
1961 area 2,505 acres (10.14 km2)[1]
HQ Westminster
Origin Liberty of Westminster
Created 1900
Abolished 1965
Succeeded by London Borough of Westminster
1911 population
- 1911 density
1961 population
- 1961 density
Governance Westminster City Council
The Arms of The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster
Coat of arms of Westminster City Council

The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster was a metropolitan borough in the County of London, England, from 1900 to 1965.


City Status

By royal charter dated 29 October 1900 the borough was granted the title City of Westminster. Westminster had originally been created a city and seat of the short-lived Diocese of Westminster in 1541. The diocese was suppressed in 1550, but the area was still known as a "city", although without official sanction.

Arms and motto

The arms of Westminster represent two monarchs, closely associated with the City. Edward the Confessor, who rebuilt the church of St Peter (Westminster Abbey), and Henry VII, who added a chapel, within the Abbey. The portcullis and rose emblems are derived from the Tudor dynasty - from whom Westminster first achieved its status; and they appear throughout many public and religious buildings in Westminster, and the portcullis was adopted by the House of Commons. The supporting lions are adopted from the Cecil family, who have had a long association with the borough. The arms were first granted in 1601.

The motto Custodi Civitatem Domine, is translated as O Lord, watch over the City.[2]


It consisted of the area that is now part of the City of Westminster and south of Oxford Street and Bayswater Road. It included Soho, Mayfair, St. James's, The Strand, Westminster, Pimlico, Belgravia, and Hyde Park.

It was formed from various parishes:

  • St Anne Within the Liberty of Westminster (also called St Anne, Soho)
  • St Clement Danes
  • St George Hanover Square
  • St Martin in the Fields
  • St Mary le Strand
  • St Paul Covent Garden
  • Westminster St James (also called St James Piccadilly)
  • Westminster St Margaret and St John
  • And the extra parochial places of the Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter (or Westminster Abbey), the Precinct of the Savoy and the Liberty of the Rolls.

Previous to the borough's formation it had been administered by five separate local bodies: the Vestry of St George Hanover Square, the Vestry of St Martin in the Fields, Strand District Board of Works, Westminster District Board of Works and the Vestry of Westminster St James. The Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter had not been under the control of any local authority prior to 1900.[3]

Area and population

The Borough covered 2,503 acres (10.1 km2). The population recorded in the Census was:

Civil parishes 1801-1899

Year[4] 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901
Population 160,759 168,657 189,543 209,229 229,473 244,531 257,232 248,714 229,784 198,871 183,011


It was abolished in 1965 and its area became part of the City of Westminster along with the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington and the Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone.

External links


  1. ^ a b c d Vision of Britain - Westminster population (area and density)
  2. ^ Civic Heraldry accessed 20 Jun 2007
  3. ^ Frederic A Youngs Jr., Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Volume I:Southern England, London, 1979
  4. ^ Statistical Abstract for London, 1901 (Vol. IV); Census tables for Metropolitan Borough of Westminster

Coordinates: 51°29′56″N 0°08′17″W / 51.499°N 0.138°W / 51.499; -0.138

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