Barnes, London


Barnes riverside from the bridge
 Barnes shown within Greater London
Area  4.50 km2 (1.74 sq mi)
Population 21,218 (Barnes and
Mortlake and Barnes Common wards 2011)[1]
    density  4,715/km2 (12,210/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ225765
    Charing Cross 5.8 mi (9.3 km)  ENE
London borough Richmond
Ceremonial county Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW13
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK ParliamentRichmond Park
London Assembly South West
List of places

Coordinates: 51°28′27″N 0°14′07″W / 51.4741°N 0.2352°W / 51.4741; -0.2352

Barnes is a suburban 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 5.8 miles (9.3 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, which together make up 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 by suburban by a Greater London Authority paper.[3]

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:

Bus map

72 & 283 East Acton
Hammersmith Bridge
419 Richmond
Lonsdale Rd.
209 Mortlake
The Spinney
Barnes Bridge Station

Washington Rd.
Barnes High St.
Newport Rd.
Barnes Pond

BarnesRed Lion
Glebe Rd.

Wetlands Centre283
Beverley Rd.
Ranelagh Ave.
485 Wandsworth
265 Putney Bridge
Barnes Station
33 Fulwell
72 Roehampton
265 Tolworth
Route Start End Operator
33 Fulwell Hammersmith London United
72 East Acton Roehampton London United
209 Mortlake Hammersmith Metroline
265 Putney Bridge Tolworth London United
283 East Acton Barnes London United
419 Hammersmith Richmond London United
485 Hammersmith Wandsworth Go-Ahead London
N22 Piccadilly Circus Fulwell Go-Ahead London

Nearest places


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.[4]

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 thirteenth 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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 apartments 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.[8] The park of Barn Elms, formerly the manor house of Barnes,[9] 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.[10]

The Grade II listed Barnes Railway Bridge, originally constructed in 1849 by Joseph Locke, dominates the view of the river from The Terrace. In 2009, a project began to re-paint the bridge.

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%.[11][12]

Barnes Common and the London Wetland Centre

The entrance to the visitors centre at the WWT London Wetland Centre; on the left is the statue of Peter Scott by Nicola Godden
Marc Bolan's shrine, on what would have been his 60th birthday, 30 September 2007
Barnes Pond with the Sun Inn in the background

Barnes Common is an important open space and a local nature reserve.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

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"[18] 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:[19]


Association Football
The grave of Ebenezer Cobb Morley in Barnes Cemetery, with a wreath commemorating 150 years of the Football Association

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.[20]


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.


Notable residents

The house in Barnes where Gustav Holst lived between 1908 and 1913. The house has a blue plaque in his honour[8]

Only notable people with entries on Wikipedia have been included. Their birth or residence has been verified by citations. Those marked § have a blue plaque.[8]

Living people






Historical figures





Scholars, scientists and engineers



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.[61]

2011 Census homes
Ward Detached Semi-detachedTerracedFlats and apartmentsCaravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboatsShared between households[1]
Barnes 277 1,198 996 1,784 0 41
Mortlake and Barnes Common 167 547 1,765 2,453 1 8
2011 Census households
Ward Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loanhectares[1]
Barnes10,299 4,151 32 26 265
Mortlake and Barnes Common10,919 4,771 27 32 185


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