Bridgewater Square was built on the site of the early C16th mansion and gardens of the Earl of Bridgewater. In 1687 Bridgwater House burnt down, causing the deaths of the 3rd Earl’s eldest sons and tutor, and was not rebuilt. The residential square was subsequently developed around a central garden.
In 1925 there was a campaign to save the garden as public open space. It was acquired by public subscription in 1926 and laid out as public gardens, opening to the public on 15 October 1928 for ‘use by local workers’. Now essentially part of the Barbican Estate, it is used as a playground for a children’s nursery, with adjacent land to the north laid out as Fann Street Wildlife Garden, accessible to residents of the estate.