St Martin of Tours

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London

St Martin of Tours

Chels­field­’s church of St Mar­tin of Tours is of ear­ly Nor­man ori­gin, and was first men­tioned in the Tex­tus Rof­fen­sis of 1122. The build­ing was altered and enlarged in the 13th cen­tu­ry, when the tow­er was added, as was the adjoin­ing St John chapel on the south side. When the church was restored in 1857 the chan­cel arch was replaced and the north-east annexe was rebuilt as a vestry.

St Mar­t­in’s received an indi­rect hit from a fly­ing bomb dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and Moira Forsyth after­wards craft­ed replace­ment stained glass win­dows. She also made the small win­dow of St John in the St John chapel.

The Brass Cros­by Room was con­struct­ed in 2007 and accom­mo­dates the gath­er­ings of sev­er­al local soci­eties and groups. There’s usu­al­ly at least one meet­ing held in the room every day. The room is named after a for­mer lord of the manor of Chels­field – and lord may­or of Lon­don – to whom a church memo­r­i­al is also ded­i­cat­ed. It is some­times said that Brass Cros­by – a res­olute defend­er of civ­il lib­er­ties in the City of Lon­don – inspired the expres­sion ‘as bold as brass’ but this is unlike­ly.

St Mar­t­in’s is grade II* list­ed and is open to the pub­lic every day. The exten­sive church­yard is tra­versed by local foot­paths and has more than 60 species of wild flow­ers.
St Martin of Tours Chelsfield