Barnes is a wonderful riverside village, within just 30 minutes of Central London. The village has many independent shops and some excellent fine dining restaurants, along with a wealth of high-end hair, nails and beauty salons. Barnes also has its own cinema, theatres, some of the best schools in the country and a great sense of community. A recent survey has shown that Barnes has the highest concentration of independent shops in the UK.
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. It appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Berne”.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
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
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 rock and pop’s greatest stars, including the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and many more.
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 OSO Arts Centre, which opened in 2002, is a venue for art and fringe theatre, hosting numerous exhibitions and theatre productions. The building was previously the postal sorting office, but was redeveloped into a mixture of residential and commercial space with the first residents moving in 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.