St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London

The 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 that time from the city 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 was taken in 1959 and also shows another London classic, the crew-operated open-decked red London RT bus. Crew operation finally disappeared from the London streets in 2020, being used on ‘tourist’ service service number 15. The road in the photograph at the north of the square in front of the National Portrait Gallery, was closed as part of the Europe Open Squares initiative.

Those known to have been baptised here:
Joseph Reffell, baptism date: 3 September 1815
Matilda Elizabeth Reffell, baptism date: 31 December 1815
Mary Matilda Reffell, baptism date: 31 December 1815

Those known to have been married here:
Mary Reffell and James Westing, marriage date: 13 May 1810
Joseph Reffell and Ann Snart, marriage date: 31 October 1814
Sarah Reffell and Robert Abel, marriage date: 31 January 1881

Those known to have been buried here:
Ann Reffell, burial date: 27 March 1818, age: 62