Thorney Island was the eyot (or small island) on the Thames, upstream of medieval London, where Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster (commonly known today as the Houses of Parliament) were built. It was formed by rivulets of the River Tyburn, which entered the Thames nearby. In Roman times (and presumably before), Thorney Island may have been part of a natural ford where what was later called Watling Street crossed the Thames,of particular importance before the construction of London Bridge.
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England.
Watling Street is a route in England that began as an ancient trackway first used by the Britons, mainly between the areas of modern Canterbury and St Albans using a natural ford near Westminster. The Romans later paved the route, which then connected the Kentish ports of Dubris (Dover), Rutupiae (Richborough), Lemanis (Lympne), and Regulbium (Reculver) to their bridge over the Thames at Londinium (London). The route continued northwest past Verulamium (St Albans) on its way to Viroconium (Wroxeter). The Romans considered the continuation on to Blatobulgium (Birrens) beyond Hadrian's Wall to be part of the same route, leading some scholars to call this Watling Street as well, although others restrict it to the southern leg.
Its name came from Anglo-Saxon Þorn-īeg, meaning "Thorn Island".
Thorney is described in a purported charter of King Offa, which is kept in the Abbey muniments, as a "terrible place".
Despite hardships and Viking raids over the next 300 years, the monks tamed the thorny vegetation, until by the time of Edward the Confessor it was "A delightful place, surrounded by fertile land and green fields". The Abbey's College Gardenremains delightful, a thousand years later, possibly the oldest garden in England.
Edward the Confessor, also known as Saint Edward the Confessor, was among the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. Usually considered the last king of the House of Wessex, he ruled from 1042 to 1066.
College Garden is a private garden of Westminster Abbey in London, open to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon throughout the year. The hours are 10 am to 6 pm in summer and 10 am to 4 pm in winter. The garden can be visited separately from the abbey and no charge is made to visit the garden alone. While visiting College Garden, it is also possible to visit the Little Cloister Garden, a small garden with a fountain in the cloisters, and St Catherine's Garden which is in the ruins of the old monastic infirmary. Probably the best time to visit the gardens is in the spring.
The level of the land has risen, the rivulets have been built over, and the Thames has been embanked. There is now no sign of Thorney Island. The name is kept only by Thorney Street, at the back of the MI5 Security Service building; but a local heritage organisation established by June Stubbs MBE in 1976 took the name The Thorney Island Society.
A stream is a body of water with surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel. The stream encompasses surface and groundwater fluxes that respond to geological, geomorphological, hydrological and biotic controls.
The Thames Embankment is a work of 19th-century civil engineering that reclaimed marshy land next to the River Thames in central London. It consists of the Victoria Embankment and Chelsea Embankment.
The Security Service, also known as MI5, is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Defence Intelligence (DI). MI5 is directed by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), and the service is bound by the Security Service Act 1989. The service is directed to protect British parliamentary democracy and economic interests, and counter terrorism and espionage within the UK.
In 1831 the boundaries of the former island were described as the Chelsea Waterworks, the Grosvenor Canal and the ornamental water in St James's Park.
Grosvenor Canal was a canal in the Pimlico area of London, opened in 1824. It was progressively shortened, as first the railways to Victoria Station and then the Ebury Bridge housing estate were built over it. It remained in use until 1995, enabling barges to be loaded with refuse for removal from the city, making it the last canal in London to operate commercially. A small part of it remains among the Grosvenor Waterside development.
St James's Park is a 23-hectare (57-acre) park in the City of Westminster, central London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less. It is the most easterly of a near-continuous chain of parks that also includes Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.
Thorney Island is one of the places reputed to be the site of King Canute's demonstration that he could not command the tides, because he built a palace at Westminster.
The West End of London refers to a distinct region of Central London, west of the City of London and north of the River Thames, in which many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues, including West End theatres, are concentrated.
Millbank is an area of central London in the City of Westminster. Millbank is located by the River Thames, east of Pimlico and south of Westminster. Millbank is known as the location of major government offices, Burberry headquarters, the Millbank Tower and prominent art institutions such as Tate Britain and the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Strand is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster, Central London. It runs just over 3⁄4 mile (1,200 m) from Trafalgar Square eastwards to Temple Bar, where the road becomes Fleet Street inside the City of London, and is part of the A4, a main road running west from inner London.
Lesnes Abbey is a former abbey, now ruined, in Abbey Wood, in the London Borough of Bexley, southeast London, England. It is a scheduled ancient monument and the adjacent Lesnes Abbey Woods are a Local Nature Reserve. Part of the wood is the Abbey Wood SSSI, a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest which is an important site for early Tertiary fossils.
The River Tyburn is a river in London, which runs underground from South Hampstead through St James's Park to meet the River Thames by Whitehall Stairs. It is not to be confused with the Tyburn Brook which is a tributary of the River Westbourne that is the next Thames tributary to the west on the north bank.
Waterloo Road is the main road in the Waterloo district of London, England straddling the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. It runs between Westminster Bridge Road close to St George's Circus at the south-east end and Waterloo Bridge across the River Thames towards London's West End district at the north-west end.
Little Dean's Yard, known to Westminster School just as Yard, is a private gated yard at the heart of the school, within the precincts of the ancient monastery of Westminster.
York House was one of a string of mansion houses which formerly stood on the Strand, the principal route from the City of London to the Palace of Westminster.
The City and Liberty of Westminster was a unit of local government in the county of Middlesex, England. It was located immediately to the west of the City of London. Originally under the control of Westminster Abbey, the local authority for the area was the Westminster Court of Burgesses from 1585 to 1900. The area now forms the southern part of the City of Westminster in Greater London.
College Green is a small public park in the City of Westminster in Central London. The gardens are situated behind Westminster Abbey, and to the east of Westminster Abbey Gardens and are adjacent to the Houses of Parliament. The gardens are not enclosed and are accessible at all times. During the Brexit discussions the park was closed due to semi-permanent TV broadcasting points and radio and media interview locations.
St Laurence Pountney was a parish church in the Candlewick Ward of the City of London. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666, and not rebuilt.
New Palace Yard is an open courtyard northwest of the Palace of Westminster in Westminster, London, England. It forms part of the Palace estate and is not open to the public. The yard has existed since around the year 1100, but it has been considerably reduced in size over the years due to the construction of new streets and buildings, most notably the current palace, which was built across the eastern end of the yard in the 19th century. An underground car park used by Members of Parliament is located beneath the yard. Prior to the construction of the present Palace of Westminster, the yard was an open public space used for a variety of purposes including speeches, tournaments, pilloryings, and executions. It has twice been the scene of terrorist attacks.
Sheen Priory in Sheen, now Richmond, London, was a Carthusian monastery founded in 1414 within the royal manor of Sheen, on the south bank of the Thames, upstream and approximately 9 miles southwest of the Palace of Westminster. It was built on a site approximately half a mile to the north of Sheen Palace, which itself also occupied a riverside site, that today lies between Richmond Green and the River Thames.
Eia or Eye was an early Medieval manor in the parish of Westminster, Middlesex so has now become a part of Central London, much of which, now known as the Grosvenor Estate, heavily leased to others, is owned by Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster, which in total is worth more than two billion pounds, mostly in commercial rents and development revenue. It was about one mile west of the Palace of Westminster/Whitehall, about 2 miles WSW of the walled City of London, and about one quarter that distance from the present north bank of the tidal Thames. A smaller sub-manor called Ebury or Eybury containing the hamlet Eye Cross, were originally part of the manor. Ebury and a corruption of it, Avery, appear as modern streets and other places.
This is a list of the etymology of street names in the London district of Westminster. The Westminster area has no formally defined boundaries - those utilised here are the generally accepted boundaries of: The Mall and Northumberland Avenue to the north, the river Thames and Victoria Embankment/Millbank to the east, Vauxhall Bridge Road to the south and Buckingham Gate, Buckingham Palace Road and Bressenden Place to the west. For convenience Constitution Hill and Spur Road in the Royal Parks, and the area around the Wellington Arch, are included here, as are the streets in the Leicester Square area.
West London is a popularly, but informally and inexactly defined part of London, England. The area lies north of the River Thames and extends from its historic and commercial core of Westminster and the West End to the Greater London boundary, much of which is formed by the River Colne. The constituent districts of West London were traditionally part of Middlesex.