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Barnes, Surrey

Historical Description

Barnes, a parish in Surrey, on the L. & S.W.R., 7 miles from London, on the river Thames. It contains the village of Barnes and the hamlet of Barnes-Elms or Barn-Elms. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office at Barnes Green. The area is 909 acres of land and 119 of water; population, 8445. The manor was given by King Athelstane to the canons of St Paul's, London, and was then and afterwards called Berne. A tract in the N, 1¼ mile long, is engirt by a semicircular sweep of the Thames. Barnes Common, contiguous to this on the S, comprises about 500 acres, and lies lower than the level of the Thames' spring tide. Barn-Elms House was the residence of Sir Francis Walsingham, visited by Queen Elizabeth; afterwards the residence of Heydeggur, George II.'s master of the revels, visited by the king; afterwards the property of Sir R. C. Hoare the antiquary. It is now a modern mansion. A house in the vicinity, the "Queen's Dairy," was the residence of the celebrated bookseller Jacob Tonson, and the meeting-place of the Kitcat Club, adorned with portraits of the members painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller. This house has gone to ruin, but the portraits have been preserved. Cowley the poet, Fielding the novelist, and Handel the composer, were residents of Barnes; Bishop Wilson was for some time rector; and Sir William Bliyard the surgeon was a native. The duel between the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Shrewsbury in January 1667-68, was fought near Barn-Elms; and the assassination of the Count and the Countess D'Antraigucs, in 1812, was done in the parish. A suspension bridge, 750 feet long, takes a thoroughfare hence across the Thames to Hammersmith; and a three-arched iron bridge, each arch 100 feet in span, takes across a loop-line of railway from the Barnes station toward the Windsor railway near Hounslow. The West Middlesex Waterworks Company have reservoirs in this parish covering an area of about 16 acres. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London; net value, £350 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's. The church was built in 1189, and is mainly Early English. A recess, with rose bushes on its S exterior, marks the grave of Edward Rose, a citizen of London who died in 1653, leaving a bequest of £20 to the poor of the parish, on condition that his monumental tablet should be kept in repair, and have rose bushes trained around it. Holy Trinity Church, situated in Castelnau, was erected in 1868; it is a building of stone and flint, and has about 300 sittings. The living is a vicarage; net value, £380 with residence, in the gift of the Rector of Barnes. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and a mission church. At Elm Bank Barnes there is a handsome modern church called St Michael and Angels, which was consecrated in 1893 as a chapel of ease to the parish church.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySurrey 
Ecclesiastical parishBarnes St. Mary 
Poor Law unionRichmond 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


There is a cemetery on the Common, formed in 1855 and consisting of 2&frac;12; acres: it contains a chapel, and is under the control of the rector and churchwardens.

Church Records

The register of St. Mary, for baptisms and burials dates from the year 1538; marriages, 1540.

The register of Holy Trinity dates from the year 1888, when the district chapelry was constituted., in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.


Church of England

Holy Trinity, Castelnau

Holy Trinity church, in Castelnau, near Hammersmith Bridge, erected in 1868, at a cost of £2,290, is a building of stone and flint, consisting of chancel, nave, west porch and a western belfry containing one bell: there are 250 sittings.

St. Mary, Church Road (parish church)

The church of St. Mary is an edifice of stone and flint, with an Early English chancel, and a western tower of red brick with stone quoins, originally dating from the 15th century and containing 8 bells: in the church is a brass dated 1508; a monument of white marble to Sir Richard Hoare bart. of Barn Elms, d. 11 Oct. 1787; and a memorial to the late Vice-Chancellor Sir Lancelot Shadwell kt. d. 10 Aug. 1850: on the exterior south wall of the nave is a stone tablet, inscribed to Edward Rose, a citizen of London, who died in 1653, and left to the poor of the parish £20 to buy an acre of land, on condition that the tablet should be maintained with a rose tree growing beneath it: in 1906 the church was enlarged by the addition of a north aisle and the rebuilding of the chancel. In the churchyard is a fine yew tree.

St. Michael and All Angels, Elm Bank

The church of St. Michael and All Angels, Elm Bank, a chapel of ease to the parish church, consecrated 25 Jan. 1892, is an edifice of brick, with stone dressings, in the Romanesque style, and affords 700 sittings.


Baptist Chapel, Stanton Road

The Baptist chapel in Stanton road, built in 1868, has 300 sittings.


Primitive Methodist Chapel, White Hart Lane
Wesleyan Chapel, Barnes Green

Roman Catholic

St. Osmund's Chapel

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Barnes from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.


Online maps of Barnes are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictRichmond upon Thames
CountyGreater London
Postal districtSW13
Post TownLondon