St. Martin in the Fields, London, England

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St. Martin in the Field is a church located in Trafalgar Square in London, England. The church predates Trafalgar Sqaure by a hundred years. Before the square was laid out in the 1820s the church was hidden away in St Martin's Lane, north of the road that leads from the Strand to Whitehall. The first church built on this site in the 13th century stood 'in the fields' between the City and Westminster. St Martin's prominent west front has a Corinthian portico, surmounted by a soaring steeple. The six columns of the portico are raised on a flight of steps above St Martin's Lane. In architectural terms St Martin's is one of the most influential churches ever built. The combination of steeple and portico was copied in England and in the United States, where it became the model for the 'Colonial' style of church-building. Like many Georgian churches St Martin's is galleried, with two tiers of windows. Because the galleries are set well back the nave is wide and spacious. The interior is embellished with Venetian glass and Italian plasterwork. The ceiling is divided into gilded and painted plasterwork panels by Artari and Bagutti. Many famous people have been buried at St Martin's including Nell Gwynn, mistress of Charles II , the painters William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds and the renowned craftsman Thomas Chippendale. Today the church still plays an important role, helping the homeless and providing a lunchtime soup kitchen. The church is home to the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and the famous choir of the same name.
18th Century (1700 - 1799 CE)