In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Barnes like this:
BARNES, a parish in Richmond district, Surrey; on the Richmond railway and the river Thames, 7 miles WSW of Waterloo Bridge station, London. It has a station on the railway; and it contains the village of Barnes and the hamlet of Barnes-Elms or Barn-Elms, both of which have post offices under Mortlake, London, S. W. Acres, 1,051; of which 115 are water. Real property, £18,738. Pop., 2,359. Houses, 414. 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, 1½ 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. Barnes terrace is a pleasant range of houses, chiefly let to summer sojourners. Barn-Elms House was the residence of Sir Francis Walsingham, visited by Queen Elizabeth; afterwards the residence of Heydegger, George II. 's master of the revels, visited by the king; afterwards the property of Sir R.Hoare, the antiquary; and now chiefly a modern mansion, belonging to the family of Chapman. 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, and are now at Bayfordbury near Hertford. 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 1667-8, was fought near Barn-Elms; and the assassination of the count and the countess D'Antraigues, 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 living is a rectory in the diocese of London. Value, £375.* Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. The church was built in 1189, and looks to be mainly early English, but has been rendered uninteresting by numerous alterations. 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. A small chapel, of recent erection, stands at Castlenan, built and endowed by Major Boilean; and is served by a curate, with salary of £100. Charities, £43.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Barnes has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Richmond upon Thames. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Barnes and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Barnes, in Richmond upon Thames and Surrey | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th January 2015
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