The Grade 1 Listed English Martyrs Church was built in 1892 by Alfred Edward Purdie; a pupil of Pugin who designed the interior of the Palace of Westminster and who was prominent in the Victorian Gothic revival movement. The church was constructed in the French Gothic style of the 13th century and forms a prominent landmark within the Streatham Hill Conservation Area. The Conservation Area is mostly late 19th century in character, while much of the development along Streatham Hill is early-mid 20th century. There is a bustling town-centre character to the area, with many retail and entertainment buildings alongside churches and residential mansion-blocks. Streatham Hill Conservation Area contains ancient routes through the city; Streatham High Road and Streatham Hill.
English Martyrs Church was opened on 4 May 1894, the feast day of the Blessed Martyrs of England and Wales. The interior is ornate and has many beautiful features including ceiling fresco painted scrolls containing the names of the English Martyrs after whom the church is dedicated.
The architect Alfred Edward Purdie (1843-1920) worked with Pugin on the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, Westminster. Purdie was assistant to Gilbert Robert Blount who was architect to Cardinal Wiseman. He started his own business in 1875, taking over Blount’s business in 1876 on Blount’s death. He became a fellow of RIBA in 1893, and died at Canterbury in 1920.