St. Matthew’s Church Gardens is an open space surrounding the historic Church of St. Matthew, Brixton, one of the four ‘Waterloo churches’ in Lambeth dedicated to the Evangelists and opened in June 1824.
The church grounds were originally part of Rush Common, a large area of open land which belonged to the historical Manor of Lambeth. When this was eventually enclosed and divided up at the start of the 19th Century, a triangle of land was used to build a new place of worship, consisting of a church and churchyard for burials and memorials.
St. Matthew’s Churchyard was officially closed to burials in 1853, and since then the grounds have been used to create a new public garden, which includes an ornamental fountain and seating, along with lines of mature trees. At its northern end is a large stone monument erected in memory of Richard Budd (1748–1824) by his son Henry Budd in 1825.