City of London

St. Martin's, Ludgate, City of London

St. Martin’s is designed very much with the view beyond it to St. Paul’s Cathedral in mind. It was one of Wren’s final churches in the City, dating to 1677-1687 and by that time the shape of the streets and buildings was becoming clear. So it is that as St. Paul’s emerges from behind the bend of Ludgate Hill so St Martin, previously dominant, seems to move aside to allow the view of the Dome to be clear. It is one of the few pieces of Wren’s intricate view planning that has survived.

The exterior of the church is actually designed to be seen from the side and as such the decoration on the tower appears to be put on the side instead of the front. The interior is quite dark, particularly as the Victorians added some dark stained glass and the light can only enter the church from the frontage along Ludgate Hill.

Unusually, Wren incorporated part of the Old City Wall into the west wall of the Church, something very unusual for his day.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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