The Gardens were once the burial ground for two nearby churches – the Nicholas Hawksmoor church, St George’s Bloomsbury, and the church of St George the Martyr in Queen’s Square, now known as St George’s Holborn. The land was bought in 1713 and the burial ground opened in 1714. The Gardens remain consecrated ground.
This was one of the first burial grounds away from a church. London was growing fast and churchyards were overflowing. Burials moved to what was then open country so a high protective wall was built, to keep out body-snatchers who supplied a nearby anatomy school.The burial ground’s wall plan may also have been the work of Hawksmoor.