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St Martin's Church, Ruislip facts for kids

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St Martin's Church
Parish Church of St Martin
St.Martins Church, Ruislip - - 306559.jpg
View of the southern side of St Martin's Church
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Modern Catholic
Dedication Saint Martin
Consecrated 1245
Heritage designation Grade I - Listing 1285697
Style Norman
Years built 1245
Parish Parish of Ruislip
Deanery Deanery of Hillingdon
Archdeaconry Archdeaconry of Northolt
Episcopal area See of Willesden
Diocese Diocese of London

St Martin's Church is a church in the town of Ruislip, within the London Borough of Hillingdon. It has been designated since January 1950 by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The present chancel and nave date back to the 13th century. The church stands at the northern end of Ruislip High Street, near the Manor Farm site.


Entrance gate to St Martins - - 374479
Entrance gate to St Martin's Church

A church for Ruislip appears in the 1086 Domesday Book but is believed to have been replaced by the present church in 1245, when an increase in the parish population called for a larger building. Stones with markings from the Norman period have been found in the grounds, believed to be from the original building.

While Ruislip was under the ownership of the Bec Abbey, the monks bestowed the name St. Martin upon the church, dedicating it to Saint Martin of Tours from Normandy.

The Proctor-General of the Bec Abbey, William de Guineville, is believed to have insisted upon the rebuilding of the church. He had held the position since 1242 and lived in the priory at Manor Farm. The first recorded vicar of the church was William de Berminton in 1327.

Between 1404 and 1414, the Bec Abbey lost its lands following heavy taxation during the Hundred Years War. By 1422, the condition of the building had deteriorated, at which point it was given to the Dean and Canons of Windsor. They had the chancel built later in the 15th century, while the parishioners themselves rebuilt the south aisle in 1440. The church tower was also built in the 15th century with a set of bells. Thomas Bettz left £26 13 4d in his will in 1463 to pay for the repair of the bells. An extension to the south aisle was added in 1500.

In 1870, the church building was substantially restored by the architect George Gilbert Scott.

In 1958, the rood beam was added as a memorial to the local Gower family.

The Ruislip war memorial dedicated to those killed in the First World War was moved from its original position in the church graveyard in 1976, to be near the entrance to Manor Farm.

Notable memorials

  • Lady Mary Bankes (or Banckes), defender of Corfe Castle against the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, who was born in Ruislip
  • Sir John Anderson (1852–1924), Scottish merchant
  • Elisabeth Schumann (1888-1952), German opera and lieder singer
  • Jessie Matthews OBE (1907-1981), British film and stage entertainer
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