St Martin in the Bullring - A Birmingham Gem!

The church, known as St Martin in the Bullring, is a Grade II* listed building in what is now called St Martin’s Square. A Victorian church with 13th century origins.


Where is St Martin's Church?

St Martin's Church is near Edgbaston Street, Birmingham, B5 5BB. It is now next to St Martin's Square and Selfridges (opened in 2003). Buses drop off at the end of Moat Lane on St Martin's Lane.

St Martin in the BullringSt Martin in the Bullring (July 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

In brief

The church dates back to at least the 13th century. Prince Rupert fired shots at the old cockerel in 1643 during the Civil War (now at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery). The church we see today was mostly rebuilt in the 19th century, and has seen various incarnations of the Bull Ring come and go.

St Martin's Church. Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

St Martin's Church - History

The church dates back to at least the 13th century. The Guild of the Holy Cross was recorded as being responsible for the clock as early as 1547. The clock was next mentioned in 1613. In 1643 during the English Civil War, (according to legend), it is said that Prince Rupert fired three shots at the weathervane at St Martin's Church. The earliest clock makers arrived from London in 1667. By 1690, the church was dressed in brick by the church wardens. The spire was rebuilt in 1781 by John Cheshire and the church was demolished and rebuilt by the architect J. A. Chatwin in 1872, preserving the earlier tower and spire. It is a Grade II* listed building. It was the tallest building in Birmingham from 1855 to 1908 (when the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower was completed at the University of Birmingham).

St Martin in the Bullring St Martin in the Bullring from Moor Street Car Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Church interior

A view up to the wooden arched ceiling.

St Martin's ChurchThe stone walls and the wooden ceiling at St Martin's Church. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Alabaster Tomb

This is an effigy of Sir John de Bermingham, probably early 15th century. Sir John was a knight who fought in the wars of France from 1373 until his death in 1393. Close inspection of this tomb reveals tiny patches of ancient colouring on the sword belt and on the coat of mail.

St Martin's ChurchThe Alabaster Tomb at St Martin's Church. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Stained glass windows

All around the church are these amazing stained glass windows. At least one was designed by Edward Burne-Jones and made by William Morris (the window in the south transept).

St Martin's ChurchStained glass windows at St Martin's Church. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Organ

Organ at St Martin's Church. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Post links

Click on the links below for our existing posts on St Martin in the Bullring.

                            Birmingham's Hidden Spaces: A look around St Martin's Church (September 2015)

                      Birmingham, the Amazing Stained Glass Windows in St Martin in the Bullring - December 2019

                                              Model of St Martin's Square at St Martin in the Bullring

 

Contact details

St Martin in the Bullring

Edgbaston Street

Birmingham

B5 5BB

0121 600 6020

office@bullring.org

Project dates

19 Jul 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Civic pride, Classic Architecture
Faith

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Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com