The first church on this site stood here in the thirteenth century, quite literally 'in the fields' between London and Westminster. The present incarnation of the church was built one hundred years before Trafalgar Square, where it now stands, and was designed by James Gibbs.
The design of the church was revolutionary and became the template for colonial churches right across America. The dominating steeple and columned face of the building were unique design features. The interior is galleried, like many Georgian churches and has two tiers of windows. The ceiling consists of gilded and painted plaster panels.
St. Martins is the official church of Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace.
Thomas Chippendale, Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth were all buried at St. Martins. During the First World War St. Martins sheltered homeless soldiers. During the Second World War the vaults were used as an air raid shelter.
St. Martins is still at the forefront of charity and provides meals for London’s homeless.
St. Martins has an acclaimed choir an often hold concerts with visiting musicians and orchestras. Admission is free and in the crypt visitors will find a café, gift shop and the London Brass Rubbing Centre.