Church of St Martin in the Fields

Trafalgar Square, London

St Martin in the Fields 1959The first reference to a church on this site was in 1222 and a newer church was built by Henry VIII in 1542, allegedly to avoid plague victims from passing through the Palace of Westminster. Being so distant (at least then) from the centre of London it escaped the Great Fire of 1666. At this time, it was literally 'in the fields', being in an isolated position between the cities of Westminster and London. However, in its turn this church was replaced by the present building, designed by James Gibbs and completed in 1726.

The church is situated in one of the best known locations in the world, although Trafalgar Square itself was not actually completed until 1845. The photograph on the right taken in 1959 also shows another London classic, the crew-operated open-decked red London bus. However that icon has now all but virtually disappeared from the London streets, only being used on 'tourist' services. Recent improvements have been made to close the road in the photograph at the north of the square in front of the National Portrait Gallery, as part of the Europe Open Squares initiative.

Those known to have been baptised here:

Joseph Reffell, baptism date: 3/9/1815

Matilda Elizabeth Reffell, baptism date:31/12/1815

Mary Matilda Reffell, baptism date:31/12/1815

Those known to have been married here:

Mary Reffell and James Westing, marriage date: 13/5/1810

Joseph Reffell and Ann Snart, marriage date: 31/10/1814

Sarah Reffell and Robert Abel, marriage date: 31/1/1881

Those known to have been buried here:

Ann Reffell, burial date: 27/3/1818, age:62