Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom, and is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British monarchs. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar, and between 1540 and 1550 had the status of a cathedral.
According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at this site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the 7th century, at the time of Mellitus (d. 624), a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church was begun in 1245 by King Henry III.