St. Martin-in-the-Fields

St. Martin-in-the-Fields church
St. Martin-in-the-Fields map
St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square WC2N 4JJ
0207 766 1100

Opening times and price

Opening hours:
8.30 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Fri); 9 AM to 6 PM (Sat-Sun)
Visiting hours are subject to change
Ticket cost:
Adults free entry
Time required:
A typical visit to St. Martin-in-the-Fields lasts 15 mins (or more if you stop for a coffee) (approx)

Getting to St. Martin-in-the-Fields

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Charing Cross BKL NRN, Covent Garden PCL, Embankment BKL CRC DSC NRN, Leicester Square NRN PCL, Piccadilly Circus BKL PCL
The nearest train station to St. Martin-in-the-Fields is Charing Cross
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Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of St. Martin-in-the-Fields  Check out my London blog for a full review, with more photos

Good for kids? Value for money? free Worth a visit?

St. Martin-in-the-Fields church was built by the Scottish architect James Gibbs in the early 18th-century, but there has been a church on the site since at least 1222 – when it really was in the fields. It occupied a spot approximately halfway between The City and Westminster – the two great centres of power in the capital.

The church was rebuilt in the 1540s by Henry VIII, and knocked down in 1722. The building that we see today was heavily criticised at the time, but has gone down as a popular London landmark.

Despite its tiny size and humble decorations, St. Martins actually has strong royal connections – it is the parish church of Buckingham Palace. Charles II was one of the many royal babies to be christened here, and George I even acted as church warden. You can see the royal box to the left of the high altar.

The church also has strong connections with the Admiralty. Tradition demands that the bells are rung every time we win a naval battle.

Some of the people buried here include Nell Gwyn – Charles II’s mistress – the artist William Hogarth, and Thomas Chippendale – the cabinet maker extraordinaire.

Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

St. Martin-in-the-Fields is famous for its classical orchestra – the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. If you turn up in the evening then you can catch a show by candlelight, or you can settle for the free ones every lunchtime (donations welcome).

Concerts are typically held at 1.05 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Evening concerts are held at 7.30 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

Since the end of World War I St. Martin’s church has gained a worthy reputation for helping the homeless – setting up soup kitchens and charity collections.

The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival is held on the first Sunday of October, when Cockney stall-holders and market-traders from the East End of London gather in their outfits to raise a little money.

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  • pwyn – “I occasionally go in to hear some music and just to have a sit down and a rest. It is cheap enough to just wander in off the street (you can spend the same amount just having a cup of tea and a roll in a restaurant) and you can listen to some wonderful classical music while you take the weight off your feet. The seats are actually in the pews, where you would sit if you came to listen to the mass, and pews are not the most comfortable of seats, so that is a black mark, but luckily the concerts do not last all that long so it doesn't really matter. And being a church, some of the seats have obstructed views so you definitely want to get as close to the front as possible. But dont worry about not being able to hear it.. Everyone is very respectful and quiet, and the sound swells and fills the entire church and sounds absolutely wonderful. I always go and have a cup of tea afterwards in the cafe. Give it a try!.”

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Events at St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Lunchtime concerts at St. Martin-in-the-Fields    to

If you enjoy this then try: National Gallery (you can walk it in less than 2 mins); National Portrait Gallery (you can walk it in less than 2 mins) and Trafalgar Square (you can walk it in less than 2 mins).

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