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PRESENT STATUS - St. Martin's Church

To the Church


Arthur Gordon Shoosmith (1888 - 1974), an architect of repute, and
Sir Edward Lutyen's representative in India from 1920 to 1931, received the commission of design St. Martin's Church, essentially for armed forces personnel as it was located in the military cantonment. He designed the building in 1928, and construction started in 1929. Fittingly, the foundation stone was laid by the commander-in-chief, H.E. Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood Bart, GCB, GCMB, KCSI, DSO, LLD, on the 23rd March, 1929.


Mr. Shoosmith designed a unique building, sensitive to his own western tradition and also to the architecture, building materials and climatic conditions in and around Delhi. 3.5 million bricks went into the construction of this building, which externally looks like a fort, with its buttresses, parapets, straight lines and few windows. The inside resembles a basilica with its high circular dome and curved arches reaching to the vaulted roof.


The total length of the building is 160 feet; the width 75 feet; height to the vault 56 feet; and to the top of the square Gothic tower 128 feet. The plinth is of stone, so too the front, pulpit, altar, altar rails and the paving of the narthex and sanctuary. The nave is a wooden block floor. The west end has a gallery for a Band instead of an Organ. The cost of construction in 1931 was (UK) 17,000/-.


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