Originally meadowland, the site was acquired in 1713 to serve as burial grounds for the new churches of St George, Bloomsbury Way and St George the Martyr, Queen Square. These were the first church burial grounds in London not to be sited next to their churches. The first burial took place in 1715 and the first recorded case of ‘body-snatching’ (the theft of corpses for medical research and teaching) took place here in 1777. Today, the gardens are a peaceful retreat with many large plane trees creating shade around ivy-clad tombs and gravestones. The site,
restored in 2001 by the London Borough of Camden with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, now includes a sensory garden created by the Friends of St George’s Gardens, near the Chapel of Rest.