Pages xx-xxi

Survey of London: Volume 20, St Martin-in-The-Fields, Pt III: Trafalgar Square and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1940.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.



The area dealt with in the third and concluding volume of the survey of the former parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields centres round Trafalgar Square and has the church as its most prominent feature. Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace and Marlborough House, although all within the parish boundary, have been left to form the subject of separate monographs to be issued at some future date. The eastern strip of the parish, including Drury Lane Theatre, has also been omitted since it can be more conveniently described with the parish of St. Paul Covent Garden.

The church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is, perhaps, more widely known than any other London parish church, but little has hitherto been published concerning its history and architecture; it is hoped therefore that the description contained in the present volume will fulfil a need.

It is fitting that the survey volume issued in 1939, the Jubilee Year of the Council, should contain an account of the offices in Spring Gardens from which the Council first carried on the government of London.

The volume affords two interesting examples of the development of place nomenclature. "Spring Garden," first used for the garden near Whitehall Palace in its original meaning of a "plantation," came after the conversion of that garden into a public pleasure ground, to be used for other similar places of amusement. "Mews," now applied to any stable premises even when converted to other uses, was the name given to the buildings at Charing Cross where the royal hawks were kept, and had originally no association with horses.

A new departure in this volume is the reproduction in colour of four watercolour drawings from the Council's collection. Several drawings of Carlton House preserved in the library at Windsor Castle have been reproduced by gracious permission of His Majesty the King. Thanks are due to the officials at the Public Record Office, the British Museum, the Westminster City Council, the Office of Works and the Commissioners of Crown Lands for assistance afforded during the compilation of the volume. Valuable information for the early history of the area has been obtained from the records preserved in the library of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, from the monuments of Bethlem Hospital, and from manuscripts in the possession of the Marquess of Salisbury.

St. Martin's Church authorities have given every facility to make the record as complete as possible. Mr. D. W. Harrington has kindly allowed the Council to reproduce his measured drawings of the steeple.

The Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A., F.S.A., has revised the heraldic blazons and drawn the marginal shields. The historical part of the volume and its general editorship are the work of Miss Ida Darlington, M.A. (Lond.), and of Mr. J. O. Thorne, B.A. (Oxon), assistants in my department. The Architect to the Council desires that his appreciation shall be recorded of the work done in the preparation of the volume by Mr. W. Dathy Quirke, A.R.I.B.A., and other assistants in his department.

G. H. GATER, Clerk of the London County Council.

The County Hall, Westminster Bridge, S.E.I, 1939.

Note. The preface and the greater part of the volume were in type before the outbreak of hostilities in September, 1939. The diversion of staff to other duties and other reasons connected with the war have caused a delay of several months in the issue of this volume.