Barnes is a district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is located in the extreme northeast of the borough (and as such is the closest part of the borough to central London). It is centred 5.3 miles (8.5 km) west south-west of Charing Cross in a bend of the River Thames.
Its built environment includes a wide variety of convenience and arts shopping on its high street and a high proportion of 18th and 19th century buildings in the streets near Barnes Pond. Together they make up the Barnes Village conservation area where along with its west riverside, pictured, most of the mid-19th century properties are concentrated. On the east riverside is the WWT London Wetland Centre adjoining several fields for the three main national team sports. Barnes has retained woodland on the "Barnes Trail" which is a short circular walk taking in the riverside, commercial streets and conservation area, marked by silver discs set in the ground and with QR coded information on distinctive oar signs. The Thames Path National Trail provides a public promenade along the entire bend of the river which is on the Championship Course in rowing. Barnes has two railway stations (Barnes and Barnes Bridge) and is served by bus routes towards central London and Richmond.
Geography and transport
Hammersmith Bridge at the north end links Barnes to the centre of Hammersmith, the nearest entertainment and high rise office area.
Barnes adjoins the South Circular Road and Putney, which forms a rival commercial hub to Hammersmith. Unlike Mortlake and Hammersmith, Barnes has no dual carriageways. The locality is one of a minority at its radius from the centre of London in the early 21st century to be defined as suburban by a Greater London Authority paper.
Barnes has two mainline railway stations:
Its nearest tube station is Hammersmith, which also has bus connections to central London.
London Buses serving Barnes are:
- Other notes
- The section with all 3 bus companies is called Castelnau
- On Church Rd. (The section with Metroline & Go-Ahead) the bus stops are
from west-east: Barnes Pond, Glebe Rd., Red Lion.
- The section with only London United that contains Ranelagh Ave. is called Rocks Lane.
- Route 419 goes on a windy 'round the houses' route between Hammersmith Bridge
& Barnes Bridge. This is predominantly a hail and ride section.
- Some 283 buses go to Barnes Pond instead of Wetlands Centre.
Historically part of Surrey, Barnes appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as "Berne". It was held by the Canons of St Paul of London when its assets were: 8 hides, paying tax with Mortlake; 6 ploughlands, 20 acres (81,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered (in total) to its feudal system overlords £7 per year.
The original Norman chapel of St Mary's, Barnes' village church, was built at some point between 1100 and 1150, and was subsequently extended in the early 13th century. In 1215, immediately after confirming the sealing of the Magna Carta, Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, stopped on the river at Barnes to dedicate St Mary's church. The church was added to in 1485 and in 1786. After a major fire in 1978 destroyed the Victorian and Edwardian additions to the building, restoration work was completed in 1984.
Some of the oldest riverside housing in London is to be found on the Terrace, a road lined with Georgian mansions which runs along the west bend of the river. Construction of these mansions began as early as 1720.Gustav Holst and Ninette de Valois lived in houses on this stretch, both of which have corresponding blue plaques. The Terrace also has an original red brick police station, built in 1891. It has been remodelled as flats but still preserves the original features.
The pink-fronted Rose House facing the area's pond dates to the 17th century, while Milbourne House facing the Green, the area's oldest, parts of which date to the 16th century, once belonged to Henry Fielding. The park of Barn Elms, formerly the manor house of Barnes, for long the parish's chief property and now an open space and playing field, is believed to be home to the oldest and largest plane tree in London.
The Grade II listed Barnes Railway Bridge, originally constructed in 1849 by Joseph Locke, dominates the view of the river from the Terrace.
Castelnau, in north Barnes and on the banks of the river, has a small church, Holy Trinity. The area between Castelnau and Lonsdale Road contains a 1930s council estate (including roads such as Nowell Road, Stillingfleet Road and Washington Road), mostly consisting of "Boot Houses", constructed by the Henry Boot company.
A 2014 survey found that Barnes had the highest proportion of independent shops of any area in Britain, at 96.6%.
Barnes Common and the London Wetland Centre
Barnes Pond with the Sun Inn
in the background
Barnes Common is an important open space and a local nature reserve. Its 120 acres (0.49 km2) dominate the south of Barnes, providing a rural setting to the village and a wealth of habitats including acid grassland, scrub, woodland and wetland. Beverley Brook passes through part of the common before meeting the Thames at Putney.
In April 2001, Barnes Pond dramatically emptied overnight. Although a broken drain was suspected no cause could be conclusively found. The pond was redeveloped and landscaped with funding from Richmond Council and the local community.
Barn Elms reservoirs were turned into a wetland habitat and bird sanctuary in 1995. The majority of the WWT London Wetland Centre comprises areas of standing open water, grazing marsh and reedbed. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it supports nationally important wintering populations of shoveller (Anas clypeata) and teal (Anas crecca).
Landmarks, trails and events
The Barnes Trail, a 2.3 mile circular walk funded by the Mayor of London and Richmond upon Thames Council, was opened in June 2013. It gained in 2014 a further QR code-marked extension, along its riverside, which equates to the Thames Path National Trail; part of this is wide, pavemented embankments with Victorian townhouses and the rest is tree-lined green space.
The site of rock musician Marc Bolan's fatal car crash on Queen's Ride in 1977 is now Bolan's Rock Shrine. The memorial receives frequent visits from his fans, and in 1997 a bronze bust of Bolan was installed to mark the twentieth anniversary of his death. In 2007, the site was recognised by the English Tourist Board as a "Site of Rock 'n' Roll Importance" in its guide England Rocks.
A cinema, Olympic Studios on Church Road, is independent, showing a mixture of films on general release and art films. Originally a local cinema and for many years a leading recording studio, down the decades Olympic played host to some of rock and pop's greatest stars, from the Beatles, who recorded the original tracks of "All You Need Is Love" in Barnes, to the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Queen, Eric Clapton, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Nilsson, the Verve, Massive Attack, Duran Duran, Coldplay, Madonna and Björk.
Facing the Thames, and on the main commercial street's junction, the Bull's Head pub is known as the "suburban Ronnie Scott's" and was one of the first and most important jazz venues in Britain from the post-war years onward.
The Old Sorting Office Arts Centre is a venue for art and fringe theatre, hosting numerous exhibitions and theatre productions, as well as a regular auction. Actors who have performed at the venue include Patricia Hodge, Stephanie Cole, Timothy West, Julian Glover and Robert Pattinson.
The area around Barnes Pond is host to several open-air and covered markets each month. Barnes Green is the site of the Barnes Fair, held each year on the second Saturday of July and organised by the Barnes Community Association (BCA), whose headquarters is at Rose House, a distinctive 17th-century pink-painted building on Barnes High Street.
Places of worship
Barnes has eight churches, of which six are members of Churches Together in Barnes:
- Association football
Barnes has a place in the history of football. First, a former High Master of St Paul's School, Richard Mulcaster, is credited with taking mob football and turning it into an organised, refereed team sport that was considered beneficial for schoolboys. St Paul's School is currently sited on Lonsdale Road, although in Mulcaster's time it was at St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London.
Barnes was also home to Ebenezer Cobb Morley, who in 1862 was a founding member of the Football Association. In 1863, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for football, and this led to the first meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern where the FA was created. He was the FA's first secretary (1863-66) and at his home in Barnes he set out the first set of rules for modern football, and these were adopted by the FA and subsequently spread throughout the world. As a player, he took part in the first match played according to today's rules. Morley may be considered the father of football for his key role in establishing modern Association Football.
Barnes has a non-League football club, Stonewall F.C., who play at Barn Elms Playing Fields.
Barnes Rugby Football Club has evidence to show that it is the oldest club in the world in any football code. Its ground is next to the WWT London Wetlands Centre, formerly known simply as Barn Elms.
In rowing, the loop of the Thames surrounding Barnes forms part of the Championship Course used for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and the main national head races, the Head of the River Races, for each category of Olympic boat. Three rowing clubs are across Barnes Bridge which can be crossed by foot and St Paul's School boat from Barnes. A statue of Steve Fairbairn who revolutionised technique and equipment in the sport is by the river close to the London Wetlands Centre in the district.
Only notable people with entries on like2do.com resource have been included. Their birth or residence has been verified by citations. Those marked § have a blue plaque.
- Joss Ackland (b. 1928), actor, lived in Barnes.
- Michael Ball (b. 1962), singer and actor, lived in Barnes.
- Samantha Bond (b. 1961), actress, was brought up in Barnes and St Margarets.
- Niamh Cusack (b. 1959), actress, lives in Barnes.
- Patricia Hodge (b. 1946), actress, lives in Barnes.
- Peter Mayhew (b. 1944), who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, was born and brought up in Barnes.
- Alistair McGowan (b. 1964), comedian, lives in Barnes.
- Robert Pattinson (b. 1986), actor, lives in Barnes.
- Stanley Tucci (b. 1960), actor, lives in Barnes.
- Julia Watson (b. 1953), actress, lives in Barnes.
- Carl Davis (b. 1936), composer, lives in Barnes.
- Duffy (b. 1984), singer, lived in Barnes.
- Tomoyasu Hotei ( ) (b. 1962), Japanese musician, singer-songwriter, composer, record producer and actor, moved to Barnes in 2012.
- Brian May (b. 1947), musician and astrophysicist, lived in Suffolk Road, Barnes.
- Roger Taylor (b. 1949), drummer, lived in White Hart Lane.
- Pete Tong (b. 1960), disc jockey, lives in Barnes.
- Susan Kramer, Baroness Kramer (b. 1950), life peer and former MP for Richmond Park, lives in Barnes.
- Dr Tania Mathias (b. 1964), MP for Twickenham from 2015 to 2017, was brought up in Barnes.
- Chris Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes (b. 1944), life peer, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and former MP for Bath who subsequently served as 28th Governor of Hong Kong and Chairman of the BBC Trust, lives in Barnes.
- Suzannah Lipscomb (b. 1978), historian, academic and broadcaster specialising in the 16th century, lives in Barnes.
- Dan Snow (b. 1978), historian and broadcaster, grew up in Barnes.
- Sir Michael Edwards OBE (b. 1938), poet and academic, was born in Barnes.
- David Harsent (b. 1942), poet, lives in Barnes.
- Judith Kerr (b. 1923), author and illustrator, lives in Barnes.
- Matthew Kneale (b. 1960), novelist, was brought up in Barnes.
- Roger McGough (b. 1937), performance poet, broadcaster, children's author and playwright, lives in Barnes.
- Rosemary Ackland (1951-2002), actress, lived in Barnes.
- Phyllis Calvert (1915-2002), actress, lived in Barnes.
- Jimmy Edwards (1920-1988), comedy actor and writer, was born in Barnes.
- Rik Mayall (1958-2014), actor, writer and comedian, lived and died in Barnes.
- John Moody (c. 1727-1812), actor, lived at 11 The Terrace, Barnes, from about 1780 until his death. He is buried at St Mary's Church, Barnes with his two wives.
- Jimmy Perry (1923-2016), actor and scriptwriter, co-creator of the TV series Dad's Army and Hi-de-Hi, was born in Barnes.
- Jon Pertwee (1919-1996), Doctor Who actor, had a family house in Barnes.
- Terry-Thomas (1911-1990), comic actor, moved to a flat in Barnes in 1988.
- Frank Thornton (1921-2013), actor (Captain Peacock in the BBC comedy Are You Being Served?) lived and died in Barnes.
Artists, architects and designers
- Thomas Allom (1804-1872), architect, artist, topographical illustrator and a founding member of what became the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), designed Holy Trinity Barnes and lived locally at 1 Barnes Villas (now 80 Lonsdale Road), Barnes, where he died on 21 October 1872.
- Sidney Richard Percy (1821-1886), landscape painter, lived with his father at 32 Castelnau Villas (92 Castelnau), Barnes, from 1845 to 1856.
- Henry William Pickersgill (1782-1875), portrait painter, lived at Nassau House, Barnes Green, from about 1854 to 1857. He is buried in Barnes Cemetery with his wife, who died in 1857.
- Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), artist, lived at 39 Westmorland Road, Barnes.§
- George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) lived at the house of Mr Mathew Andrews in Barn Elms in the summer of 1713.§
- Gustav Holst (1874-1934), composer, lived at 31 Gretna Road, Richmond from 1903 to 1908, then moved with his family to 10 The Terrace, Barnes until 1913.§
- Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), musician, vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen, shared a house in Ferry Road.
Lawyers, politicians and statesmen
- Major John Freeman (1915-2014), politician, diplomat and broadcaster, lived in Barnes.
- Lyon Playfair (1818-1898), professor of chemistry and Liberal MP, lived at 26 Castelnau Villas (98 Castelnau), Barnes in 1851, while taking part in organising the Great Exhibition.
- Sir John Power, 1st Baronet (1870-1950), businessman and Conservative MP for Wimbledon, lived at 1 Queen's Ride, Barnes, from 1908 to 1919.
Scholars, scientists and engineers
- James Henry Greathead (1844-1896), railway engineer and pioneer of tunnelling, lived at 3 St Mary's Grove, Barnes, from 1885 to 1889.§
- Colin Patterson (1933-1998), palaentologist, lived in Barnes.
- Albert Frederick Pollard (1869-1948), historian and founder of the Historical Association, lived at 7 St Mary's Grove.
- Sir John Russell Reynolds, 1st Baronet (1828-1896), British neurologist and physician, President of the Royal College of Physicians, 1893-95, occupied Rose Cottage, Barnes Green, as a weekend cottage from about 1862 to 1870.
- The Scottish physician, librarian, and medical historian Robert Willis (1799-1878) lived and practised at The Homestead, Barnes from 1846 until his death in 1878.
- Henry Fielding (1707-1754), novelist, lived at Milbourne House, Barnes Green in about 1750, when writing Amelia.§
- Nigel Kneale (1922-2006), scriptwriter, lived in Barnes.
- Eric Newby (1919-2006), travel author, grew up in Castelnau Mansions, Barnes.
- Barbara Pym (1913-1980), novelist, lived at 47 Nassau Road.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), playwright, poet, theatre owner and MP, who owned Downe House, Richmond Hill, took a house on Barnes Terrace in 1810 when his son Tom was living at Milbourne House
- Dodie Smith (1896-1990), author of I Capture the Castle and The Hundred and One Dalmatians, lived in Riverview Gardens.
- Colin Welland (1934-2015), Oscar-winning screenwriter of Chariots of Fire, lived in Barnes.
- Vice-Admiral Alfred Carpenter VC (1881-1955), Royal Navy officer, was born in Barnes.
- In 1812, Louis-Alexandre de Launay, comte d'Antraigues (1753-1812) and his wife, the celebrated soprano Madame Saint-Huberty (1756-1812), were murdered at their country home at 27 The Terrace, which they had purchased about three years earlier, by an Italian servant whom they had dismissed.
- Ninette de Valois (1898-2001), founder of the Royal Ballet, lived at 14 The Terrace from 1962 to 1982.§
- Admiral Martin Dunbar-Nasmith VC (1883-1965) was born at 136 Castelnau.§
- Lieutenant-General Robert Ballard Long (1771-1825) retired to his house on The Terrace.
Demography and housing
To give an equal councillor number and electorate, the wards in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames are multi-councillor but aim to be equally sized. To achieve this, approximately half of one of the two wards covering modern Barnes also falls within the boundaries of neighbouring Mortlake.
2011 Census homes
||Flats and apartments
||Shared between households|
|Mortlake and Barnes Common
2011 Census households
||% Owned outright
||% Owned with a loan
|Mortlake and Barnes Common
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