Named after Queen Charlotte, formerly Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the square was designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell and Joseph Kay for the Foundling Estate in the early 19th century.
The grade II-listed two-acre garden was laid out in 1810-12. It remains close to the original design, with fine mature planes and other ornamental trees, formal lawns and gravel paths. A section devoted to plants from New Zealand includes a number of rarities. A herb garden has been planted with assistance from the Wellcome Trust.
A children's play area, barbecue area and tennis court cater for the large number of postgraduate students and their families living around the square.