A riverside suburb, which was historically part of Surrey; it appears in the Domesday Book
of 1086 as 'Berne'
. It is home to a number of 18th and 19th Century buildings of exceptional quality, and most can be found on The Terrace - a road lined with Georgian mansions, which runs along the west bend of the River Thames. Houses on this stretch were homes to famous English Composer, Gustav Holst and Ninette de Valois, who is quite possibly the most influential person in the history of Ballet. The area's oldest building dates to the 16th Century, and once belonged to Henry Fielding, a prolific novelist and, with his half-brother, founder of London's first Police force - The Bow Street Runners.
Barnes' village church, the original Norman chapel of St Mary's, was built between 1100 and 1150 and was subsequently extended in the early 13th century, and again in 1485 and 1786. After a major fire, in 1978, which destroyed the Victorian and Edwardian additions to the building, restoration work was completed in 1984.
Barnes Common is an important open space and a local nature reserve. Its 120 acres 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. It is also the site of the Barnes Fair, which is held each year on the first week of July and is organised by the Barnes Community Association, whose headquarters is in Rose House - a distinctive 17th Century pink-painted building on Barnes High Street.
Most notably, the Barn Elms Reservoirs were converted into a wetland habitat and bird sanctuary - opening its doors in 2000 as The London Wetland Centre
. Other points of interest and attractions include the Olympic Studios on Church Road, having played host to many pop and rock stars through the decades. Facing the Thames, there's The Bull's Head pub, one of the first and most important jazz venues in Britain. Also, there is The Old Sorting Office arts centre, adjacent to Barnes Pond, which has become known as a venue for art and fringe theatre, hosting numerous exhibitions and theatre productions in which well-known names have performed.