Cruising to England
A WALK FROM TRAFALGAR
SQUARE TO BIG BEN
Richard H. Wagner
Page one: Introduction, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, St. Martin in the Fields.
Page two: Admiralty Arch, Horse Guards, Banqueting House.
Page three: The Centoaph, 10 Downing Street, Churchill War Rooms
Page four: The Houses of Parliament, the Jewel Tower
Page five: Westminster Abbey, St. Margret's Church, the U.K. Supreme Court
The National Gallery
St. Martin In The Fields
To the east of the National Gallery is the Anglican church, St. Martin In The Fields. Designed by James Gibbs in 1721, this church has been the inspiration for many churches around the world.
There has been a church on this site at least since 1222. It was literally in the fields between the cities of London and Westminster thus the name. Rebuilt by Henry VIII in 1542, the church was expanded in subsequent reigns. However, by the beginning of the 18th century, the old church was collapsing.
Parliament authorized the construction of a new church, which was to be paid for by the parishioners. This resulted in the the neo-classical church we see today.
Among the notables buried at St. Martin's are Thomas Chippendale, the furniture maker and Nell Gywnne, popular 17th century actress and mistress of Charles II.
St. Martin's remains an active church and has a long history of caring for the homeless.
In addition, the church has an award winning cafe in its crypt and hosts a well-known classical concert series including free lunchtime concerts. It also has a brass rubbing center.
For more information, see St. Martin's website.
Cruise destination - England - A Walk From Trafalgar Square to Big Ben and Beyond - page one