St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London

St. Martin-in-the-Fields is probably the most frequently "accidentally photographed" church in London. People flock to Trafalgar Square which it overlooks and the church often features in the background of photos of people with pigeons standing on their heads!

The Church gets its name from the fact that when it was originally built in the middle ages this area was fields and woodland - now it is in the very heart of London.

The current Church, probably London's finest piece of Baroque architecture, is the fourth building to stand here and was designed by James Gibbs. The building work being completed in 1726.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London (from Trafalgar Square)

Gibbs' design was revolutionary, with a mixture of classical and Baroque styles which give the church an overall elegance and distinctive look.

St. Martin's must be one of the few churches with a Royal Box, reserved exclusively for the Royal Family's use. The church interior is impressively Georgian with the usual collection of memorials and portraits.

The Crypt has been turned into a series of cafés and shops.

St. Martin's today is mostly known for its musical associations. Handel performed here and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields was formed in 1959. Free concerts are performed most lunchtimes and a series of superb candle-lit concerts happen throughout the year in the evenings.

So if you're ever in Trafalgar Square, and happen to glance over at St. Martin's, take the time to cross the roads and have a look at one of London's most over-looked jewels.

Photos - Andrew J. Müller

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