St Martin-in-the-Fields

Church in The West End

This parish church to the Royal Family is a delightful fusion of neoclassical and baroque styles. It was designed by architect James Gibbs, completed in 1726 and served as a model for many wooden churches in New England, USA. The church is well known for its excellent classical-music concerts, many by candlelight (£9 to £32), and its links to the Chinese community (with services in English, Mandarin and Cantonese).

The wonderful Cafe in the Crypt hosts two-hour jazz evenings (£8 to £15; £3.50 standing tickets if concert sold out) at 8pm on Wednesday; there are also free lunchtime concerts at 1pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The shop offers brass rubbing, an activity adored by the Victorians, in which paper is placed over a brass etching and coloured over with a coloured wax crayon so you can take your own copy away (from £4.50).

In 2006, refurbishment excavations unearthed a 1.5-tonne limestone Roman sarcophagus from about 410 AD in the churchyard – a significant find, as this area was far outside the bounds of Roman Londinium.


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