Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

St. Martin in the Fields

August 25, 2009 · No Comments

St. Martin in the Fields is a beautiful church.  It is open, airy, has beautiful guilding, and some of the most interesting windows that I have ever seen in a religious building.  While not actually in a field (as there was some debate about it), it still is in a nice, albeit touristey, location.  The inside of church has every appearance of being a nice, though rather upscale, protestant church, much like the ones built all around New England during the 18th century, which is why I found the contrast to the outside so dramatic.

English churches, especially the more well-known ones, tend to be made of stone and feature either gothic or roman architecture, and the inside usually matches the exterior.  However, when sitting inside St. Martin’s I felt that when I exited the building I would see a wooden, white-washed structure with a steeple, basically a copy of many of the protestant churches that litter New England.  It was almost jarring for me to enter what was outwardly a copy of a Roman Temple (with the addition of a steeple and clock) and instead see a bright room filled with windows. 

It just struck me as another difference between our religious establishments and those of Britain.  England has always done a good job of integrating old and new, and St. Martin in the Fields is a perfect example of that.

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