This statue of Mahatma Gandhi is the centre-piece of Tavistock Square Gardens. The statue, by British sculptor Fredda Brilliant, was gifted to London by the Indian High Commissioner in Britain in 1967, and unveiled by the Labour prime minister of the day, Harold Wilson.
The Gandhi statue gave Tavistock Square an air of serenity, and it was soon followed by a number of peace memorials. A cherry tree was planted to remember the victims of the Hiroshima bombing; in 1986 the League of Jewish Women planted a field maple to mark the United Nations' International Year of Peace; in 1995, a granite memorial was installed at the square to honour conscientious objectors, and unveiled by one of their number, the composer Michael Tippett. It is said that, among Londoners, Tavistock Square became known as "the peace park" (Link
- The Gandhi of Tavistock Square by Vinay Lal).
Prior to the 1550s, the land was part of the Tottenhall Manor before being granted to the Earl of Southampton to form part of the Bloomsbury Estate. The area remained as open fields until 1776, when the 5th Duke of Bedford began a major building programme. The gardens were developed as private space for the surrounding terraced houses with construction beginning in 1803.
During the Second World War, the gardens became open to the public by default when the boundary railings were removed to be re-used in the war effort. They were officially opened after WWII, when the gardens were transferred from the Bedford Estate to St Pancras Parish Council during the 1950s.