The Terrace on Barnes riverside from Barnes Bridge
Barnes is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Area4.50 km2 (1.74 sq mi)
Population21,218 (Barnes and
Mortlake and Barnes Common wards 2011)[2]
• Density4,715/km2 (12,210/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ225765
• Charing Cross5.8 mi (9.3 km) ENE
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtSW13
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°28′26″N 0°14′10″W / 51.474°N 0.236°W / 51.474; -0.236

Barnes (/bɑːrnz/) is a district in south London, England, part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It takes up the extreme north-east 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. 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 Barn Elms playing fields.

Barnes has retained woodland on the "Barnes Trail", a short circular walk taking in the riverside, commercial streets and conservation area, including the Olympic Studios. The trail is 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

Barnes is in south west London, bounded to the west, north, and east by a meander in the River Thames.


National Rail

Barnes is not on the London Underground network. However, it is served directly by two National Rail stations, both of which are in London's Travelcard Zone 3:

Both stations are served exclusively by trains operated by South Western Railway (SWR), with trains terminating in Central London at Waterloo via Clapham Junction. Trains from Barnes and Barnes Bridge both run eastwards, providing Barnes with a direct connection to Chiswick, Brentford and Hounslow. Barnes railway station is also served by trains running southwest towards Teddington and Kingston.[3]

Barnes railway station saw 2,548 million passenger entries or exits in 2018. Barnes Bridge was significantly quieter, with only 0.863 million passengers beginning or ending their journey at the station.[4]

The nearest other railway stations are at Putney and Mortlake.[3]

London Underground

There are London Underground connections in neighbouring Hammersmith, where two stations serve four lines: the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines and the District and Piccadilly lines. From Hammersmith, there are direct connections to the City and the West End. There are also direct connections to Heathrow Airport, Ealing, the East End and Rayner's Lane.[3]


Barnes has two River Thames crossings. Barnes Railway Bridge is a railway bridge with an adjacent footpath. Hammersmith Bridge is a suspension bridge to the north of Barnes, built in 1887. It is currently closed indefinitely to all motor traffic due to structural faults. This affects on residents of Barnes who previously relied on the crossing.

Many of the roads in Barnes are residential, but several arterial routes pass through the district, carrying traffic across London and South East England.

The South Circular Road (A205) passes through the southern end of Barnes. It carries traffic eastbound towards Wandsworth, Clapham, the City of London and south east London. Westbound, the road carries traffic away from Central London, either towards Richmond and the M3, or directly to the M4 and the North Circular Road (A406). Kew and Chiswick are en route to the M4. The A306 runs north–south through Barnes, carried by Castelnau and Rocks Lane. Leaving Barnes to the north, the A306 crosses Hammersmith Bridge towards Hammersmith, where traffic meets the Great West Road (A4), which links to Earl's Court and the West End. Southbound, the A306 eventually meets the A3 towards Guildford and Portsmouth. Transport for London (TfL) manages the South Circular Road and the A306 (south of Barnes only).[5]

Barnes High Street and Church Road carry the A3003, which runs between Barnes and nearby Mortlake.

Other roads which cross the Thames nearby are Chiswick Bridge (A316) to the west and Putney Bridge (A219) to the east.

Air pollution

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames carries out air pollution monitoring in Barnes, both kerbside and in the London Wetlands Centre. There are several sites in Barnes which measure the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO
) and particulate matter PM10 in the air.

A kerbsite site along Castelnau (a main road whose traffic level has greatly reduced due to the bridge closure) recorded an annual mean concentration of NO
at 31 μg.m-3 (micrograms per cubic metre) in 2017. The annual mean concentration of PM10 was 18 μg.m-3 at the same site in the same year. Both results show that Barnes' air is the cleanest it has been since 2011, at least. The Wetlands monitoring site recorded far lower (i.e. cleaner) results than Castelnau did in 2017, with an annual mean NO
concentration at 21 μg.m-3, and a mean reading of 15 μg.m-3 for PM10. A monitoring site on Barnes High Street recorded more polluted air than the other, with NO
levels at 43.0 μg.m-3 (annual mean, 2017). This site therefore failed to meet the UK National Air Quality Objective of 40 μg m-3 (annual mean) for NO


Barnes is served by London Buses 33, 209, 265, 378, 419, 485, 533 and N22.

The closure of Hammersmith Bridge has severely impacted connections to Hammersmith.[7]


Two key cycling routes pass through Barnes:

Cycles can cross the Thames in Barnes using either Hammersmith Bridge or Barnes Bridge (dismounting to use the footpath). Cycling is permitted along the shared-use path on the southern bank of the Thames between Hammersmith Bridge and Putney Bridge.

River Thames

This article contains relative time references such as now, soon, upcoming. Please help add absolute time references. (December 2022)

The river follows Barnes' northern border. The Thames Path passes through Barnes, following the banks of the river.

Transport for London (TfL), in conjunction with Thames Clippers (branded as Uber Boat), run riverboat services from nearby Putney Pier to Blackfriars, weekday morning and evenings only. This connects the Barnes area to Chelsea, Battersea, Westminster, Embankment and the City. A summer river tour, operated by Thames River Boats, runs from Kew Pier to Westminster, or Richmond and Hampton Court. None of these services stops in Barnes.[9]

Because of the closure to Hammersmith Bridge, a temporary ferry between Barnes and Hammersmith was proposed in 2021.[10] This plan was never implemented.

Nearest places


14 The Terrace, Barnes
Milbourne House (18 Station Road), Barnes
Barnes Railway Bridge

Barnes appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Berne". It was held by the Canons of St Paul of London when its assets were: eight hides, paying tax with Mortlake; six ploughlands, 20 acres (81,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered (in total) to its feudal system overlords £7 per year.[11]

In 1889, Barnes became part of the Municipal Borough of Barnes. In 1965, that borough was abolished and Barnes became part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Notable buildings

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 Magna Carta, Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, stopped on the river at Barnes to dedicate St Mary's church.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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 oldest in the area with parts dating to the 16th century, once belonged to Henry Fielding.[15] The park of Barn Elms, formerly the manor house of Barnes,[16] for long the parish's chief property and now an open space and playing field, is home to one of the oldest and largest plane trees in London, one of the Great Trees of London.[17]

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%.[18]

Barnes Common and the London Wetland Centre

Main articles: Barnes Common and WWT London Wetland Centre

Barnes Common is an important open space and a local nature reserve.[19] 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.[20] 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 reed bed. 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

Marc Bolan's Rock Shrine
Rose House, 70 Barnes High Street

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

Olympic Studios on Church Road is an independent cinema, 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 the greatest stars in the history of popular music.

In 1967's Summer of Love, it was at Olympic in Barnes that the Beatles conceived the first parts and ideas of "All You Need Is Love", one of the most influential popular songs in modern history, which debuted a fortnight later in Our World, the first ever global satellite broadcast to millions worldwide.[24][25]

The Rolling Stones later went on to become such frequent visitors that Mick Jagger gradually designed part of the studio's features himself,[26] while Jimi Hendrix also spent a significant proportion of his entire recording career in the quiet surroundings of Barnes, recording tracks for all three of his studio albums there. Led Zeppelin recorded their debut album and much other material at the studio, from the late 1960s into the mid-1970s. The Who, Queen, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Nilsson, the Verve, Massive Attack, Duran Duran, Coldplay, Prince, Madonna, Adele, and Björk were among the many other visitors.

Facing the Thames, and on the main commercial street's junction, the Bull's Head pub was also one of the first jazz venues in Britain, and now hosts live music in an attached music room with capacity for 80 people.[27][28]

The OSO Arts Centre, which opened in 2002, is a venue for art and fringe theatre, hosting numerous exhibitions and theatre productions, as well as a regular auction.[29] The building was previously the postal sorting office, but was redeveloped into a mixture of residential and commercial space with the first residents moving there in 1999.

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 are at Rose House, a distinctive 17th-century pink-painted building on Barnes High Street.

In 2015, Barnes Pond became home to London's largest dedicated children's book event, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival, which is now the second largest in Europe.[30]

Places of worship

Clock at St Mary's Church

Barnes has seven churches, of which six are members of Churches Together in Barnes:[31]


Barnes and Mortlake History Society
FounderMaurice Cockin
Legal statusregistered charity (number 292918)[32]
Region served
Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen[33]
Paul Rawkins[32]
Main organ
Barnes and Mortlake History Society Newsletter (four times a year)[33]

The Barnes and Mortlake History Society, founded in 1955 by local resident Maurice Cockin as the Borough of Barnes History Society,[34] promotes interest in the local history of Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen. It organises a programme of lectures and other activities on historical topics and publishes a quarterly newsletter.[33]


Association football
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 the weekly sporting newspaper Bell's Life 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; 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.[35]


Barnes Rugby Football Club's ground, known as Barn Elms, is next to the WWT London Wetlands Centre.


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.


Main article: List of schools in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Notable residents

Main article: List of residents of Barnes, London

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.[36]

2011 Census homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats Shared between households[2]
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 loan hectares[2]
Barnes 10,299 4,151 32 26 265
Mortlake and Barnes Common 10,919 4,771 27 32 185


See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Census Information Scheme (2012). "2011 Census Ward Population figures for London". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density [1] Office for National Statistics
  3. ^ a b c "London's Rail and Tube services" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Estimates of station usage". Office of Rail and Road. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019.
  5. ^ "TfL Base Map" (PDF). Transport for London (TfL). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ "London Borough of Richmond upon Thames: Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2017" (PDF). London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 30 May 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Hammersmith Bridge bus route changes – Transport for London – Citizen Space". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Route 4". Sustrans. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ "London's River Services map" (PDF). Transport for London (TfL). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2018.
  10. ^ "The Home Page". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  11. ^ Palmer, J J N. "Place: Barnes". Open Domesday. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Magna Carta 800th Anniversary, St Mary's Barnes". Magna Carta 800. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  13. ^ "Short history of the parish church of St Mary Barnes" (PDF). St Mary Barnes. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Timeline". Barnes and Mortlake History Society. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Blue Plaques". Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  16. ^ Malden, H E, ed. (1912). "Parishes: Barnes". A History of the County of Surrey: vol. 4. British History Online. pp. 3–8. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  17. ^ "One of London's BEST kept secrets…". Barn Elms Sports Trust. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Towns with the greatest percentage of independents are Barnes, where they account for 96.6% of retailers...""Barnes leads in independent shops". DIY Week. 25 March 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Barnes Common Conservation area" (PDF). London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Report on Barnes Pond" (PDF). London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 17 December 2001. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  21. ^ Dyduch, Amy (30 June 2013). "Dozens of people turn out for Barnes trail launch". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  22. ^ "The Barnes Trail". Barnes Community Association. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  23. ^ "TAG's Marc Bolan & T-Rex Web Site – Legal Guardians of Marc Bolan's Rock Shrine". Retrieved 23 July 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "All You Need is Love". The Beatles Bible. 12 January 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  25. ^ "The Beatles on Our World: All You Need Is Love". The Beatles Bible. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  26. ^ Frost, Matt. "Keith Grant:The Story of Olympic Studios". SoundonSound. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  27. ^ "The Bull's Head Barnes, The Yamaha Room". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Bulls Head, Barnes: Happy 50th Birthday". London Jazz News. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  29. ^ "OSO Arts Centre". Arts Richmond. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Barnes Children's Literature Festival". Silent Deer. 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Barnes in Common: About Churches Together in Barnes". Churches Together in Barnes. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  32. ^ a b c "Barnes And Mortlake History Society". Charity Commission for England and Wales. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  33. ^ a b c d "Barnes and Mortlake History Society". Barnes Village. Barnes Community Association. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  34. ^ a b Rawkins, Paul (September 2020). "A Proud Heritage". Barnes and Mortlake History Society newsletter. p. 3.
  35. ^ "Stonewall". Club Information. football.mitoo. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  36. ^ Malden, H E, ed. (1912). "The hundred of Brixton: Introduction and map" in A History of the County of Surrey. Vol. 4. London: British History Online. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 10 December 2022.