Introduction Introduction

We have to go back to a document dated 1118 to find the first recorded evidence of the church at Medemblik when the Bishop of Utrecht bestowed the church property on the Canons of St. Martin (Sint Maarten in Dutch). The church building referred to in that document was probably located at the same site as the present building.
 The construction of the present church was started in 1404. The church and tower were completed in the course of the 15th Century. In 1517 Medemblik was attacked and burnt by a gang of thieves under the direction of a man called “Grote Pier”. The church was also destroyed by the flames; the tower however remained undamaged.
After a collection in the diocese of Utrecht the church was able to be rebuilt. Shortly after the reconstruction  the western side of the city caught fire again and was razed to ashes. History repeated itself, the church burnt to the ground, the tower however was spared. In 1555 the rebuilding of the church was started. In order to pay for this, Medemblik received alleviation of taxes for a period of ten years from King Philip the Second. The church that was then built, in basic form, is the same as to-day.
The name of the church.
Originally Saint Martin (Sint Maarten) was the second church patron, next to Saint Boniface. After the Reformation in 1572 the name of Boniface remained with the Reformed church and Saint Martin became the principle patron of the Roman Catholic church.
 
kerk kerk

The church is a late-gothic hallchurch with three aisles; the south aisle together with the nave lies under one roof.
The church floor has been raised, most probably to create more space for graves. Because of that the bases of the pillars have disappeared under the present church floor.
In 1866 the church was shorthened by approximately 20 metres because of the deteriorating condition of that section. Both choirs, located at the eastside, as well as the extension at the northside, have been pulled down.
Eight stained-glass windows, which were mounted in the choir, have disappeared.It is known that one of these windows is in a country house on the island of Guernsey.




In 1902 the church again was renovated and the walls plastered with Portland cement. 
A problem for the church was the enormous saline content in the walls. Every plaster coating came off sooner or later.

Only the Portland cement appeared to be durable. However a consequence of this was a very gloomy church interior.

In 1991/93 the church was renovated again. Roof and gutters were entirely renewed; parts of the wooden rafters were replaced  and the north-eastern outerwall was rebuilt. This was the same part of the church that had been demolished in 1866. The wooden structure was badly affected by the dampness inside the church as well as to the devasting work of the “death-watch beetle” (a multicolor gnawing bug). The old plaster coating, where it came off, was replaced by a modern coating of plaster which is highly permeable to water. The church has also been equipped with a central heating system

 
 
Tower Tower

The Tower

The tower in its present form was built in the 15th Century and is therefore well over one hundred years older than the church itself. The thickness at the base of the walls is two metres compared to the thickness of the steeple which is only one and a half bricks.
The present crowning - the trans gallery and the little dome with the open apple- was installed in 1661.
In that year a part of the original spire had to be dismantled because of it’s dilapidated condition.
 Three bells are hanging in the tower, of which the oldest and largest has a diameter of 1,25 metres. This bell is called Saint Peter (Sint Pieter in Dutch) and was manufactured by Everardus Splinter from Enkhuizen in 1636. The other two bells were made by the Hemony Brothers; one bears the date 1649.
The tower was restored in 1925/26 and in 1969/70. There are plans for a new renovation as the basement of the tower shows new deficiencies, possibly caused by the reclamation of the Wieringermeer. It has been established that the tower subsides out of position in a north easterly direction an average of three millimeters per year.