St. Martin Church, Coney Street

St Martin-le-Grand is situated on Coney Street although the formal name of the church is simply St Martin, Coney Street.

A church on this site was first built in 1080, and some masonry from this building remain in the north aisle of the church. A south aisle was added in the thirteenth century when the church was extended, and a chancel was added later in the same century.

As with many churches in the city, it was heavily restored in the nineteenth century, with the work undertaken by JB Atkinson and W Atkinson in 1853.

The church was badly damaged during a bombing raid in 1942, but it was restored in the 1960s by the architect George Gaze Pace. During the restoration the Guardian reported that seven out of the eight bells dating from 1729 had been stolen from the church, and it was feared melted down. The vicar at the time, Canon Noel Porter, said “the bells are irreplaceable. We had been hoping that some would be melted down to make a large bell for the new structure. Now a link with history has been severed, quite apart from the loss of the valuable metal”.

There is a well known clock attached to the church, originally erected in 1668 and overhauled in 1754, which survived the war damage and which was restored in the summer of 2012.