St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Kirkdale, was created as a chapel of ease within the civil parish boundaries of St Nicholas, Liverpool. The church was erected by 1828, with the foundation stone laid in 1825.
Designed by Mr. John Foster, Jnr. (1787 – 1846), it was built at a cost of £20,000 by the Parliamentary Commissioners upon land given for that purpose by the late Edward Houghton, Esq.
The entire height of the steeple was 22 feet. The extreme length of the church from east to west was 142 feet, and the width was 75 feet. The front of the chancel was embellished with a special Gothic arch, and there was seating for 2,000 parishioners.
Located on the south side of Great Oxford Street North (renamed Silvester Street in 1865), it was built of reddish sandstone but it turned black because of the industrial area (an Irish dye works was the main culprit for this), and it became known as “The Black Church”.
In 1941 St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church was destroyed by enemy action. Services were then held in the Church of St. Alban, Bevington.
It was closed in 1946 after war time damage. However, it had declined and ceased to hold services prior to this.
In May 1949 the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields was permanently closed and the parish merged into the Parish of Liverpool (Our Lady and St. Nicholas, Chapel Street).
The church remained a shell and was demolished in the early 1950’s, with re-interment and gravestone removal to St Mary’s, Walton, and some of the cemetery was made into a children’s playground and bowling green.