A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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The parish of Barnes contains 1,027 acres. It lies on the Thames, inside the curve which the river makes, first north and then south, opposite Hammersmith, and is bounded by it on three sides. The towing-path round the bend is in Barnes parish. The Beverley Brook crosses the parish from west to east and joins the Thames. There are two bridges over the river, Hammersmith Suspension Bridge, built in 1827 and rebuilt in 1886, which connects it with that town, and Barnes Bridge, which carries the loop line of the London and South Western Railway, opened in 1849, over the Thames. This loop line runs concurrently with the Windsor line as far as Barnes station, after leaving which they divide. The northern part of the parish in the bend of the Thames is low and liable to floods. There is some rich meadow land near the river; the soil of the higher parts is gravel. The Metropolitan Water Board has large reservoirs in Barnes.
The village is situated on the west of the parish near the river. The High Street runs at right angles to the river-bank, and leads to Barnes Green on the east. Church Road leads to the church, a little to the north-east of the village, and the road is continued to Barn Elms. At the other end of High Street, running parallel with the river, is Barnes Terrace, where is a row of old houses. Further to the west this joins Mortlake High Street. Here in the early part of the 18th century many foreigners assembled, especially French refugees. (fn. 1)
Barn Elms is the chief house in the district (see manor), but its park, which was the scene of many duels, (fn. 2) is now a golf course. Castelnau was once in the possession of a French refugee family of that name, (fn. 3) and now the name is given to a road about a mile long which runs from Hammersmith Bridge to the Ranelagh Grounds, where it branches into two, one branch continuing across the common to Roehampton, the other turning west and running past the church to the south, and the common and pond on the north, down to the river. Here it meets a road which follows the bend of the river to Hammersmith Bridge. From the junction the roads continue south to Mortlake and Kew. In Castelnau there are early 19th-century houses standing back from the road behind well-wooded gardens. An interesting old house, called Milbourne House, stands on the Green. It seems probable that it took its name from the family of Melbourne or Milbourne who held the manor of Esher Watevile in Emleybridge Hundred. In the church there is a brass to the memory of William Milbourne dated 1415. (fn. 4) Special interest attaches to this house, for it was for some time the residence of Henry Fielding. (fn. 5) It is now occupied by Mrs. Gray. Another house which used to stand near Barn Elms was occupied at the end of the 17th century by Jacob Tonson the bookseller. Here were held the meetings of the celebrated Kitcat Club, for whose use Tonson added a gallery to his house. (fn. 6) This was hung with portraits painted by Kneller of all the members of the club, and in 1814 this house was still standing, the vacant places where the pictures had hung were easily discernible, and the names of the originals, Addison and the rest, remained underneath. It was then, however, in a state of ruin, and soon after was pulled down, (fn. 7) the pictures having been removed long before to Bayfordbury in Hertfordshire. (fn. 8) Adjoining the churchyard on the west are the well-wooded rectory gardens. The rectory is an 18th-century three-story brick building of no great interest, except that it contains a fine oak staircase of the period, with carved spandrel steps and twisted balusters. To the east of the church stands the 'Homestead,' an 18th-century two-story brick house, having an enriched wooden cornice, a tile roof and red brick dressings to the windows. The entrance doorway is of two Doric pilasters carrying an entablature. The house stands well back from the roadway behind a row of beech trees, and is entered through a gateway standing between two brick piers surmounted by vases. Lower down the road towards the river, standing opposite each other at the corners of Grange Road, are Frog Hall and The Grange, two brick Georgian houses. They are both two-story buildings, and have dormers in their roofs and red brick dressings to the windows. The latter has a bracketed wooden cornice, and has been much enlarged in recent times. The Sun Inn, opposite the pond, is a building of about the same date, as are many of the houses in the High Street and the terrace overlooking the river. The 'Bull's Head' and the 'White Hart' are old riverside inns. Near the former was established the Lyric Club, but the site is now occupied by small houses. Of modern houses Mill Hill is the residence of Mrs. Eykyn; the Manor House was that of the late Colonel Barrington-Foote.
Barnes Common lies to the south of the parish, and contains about 126 acres. (fn. 9) Formerly the townships of Barnes and Putney both used this common, but in 1589 they quarrelled over it, and the men of Barnes refused to allow the men of Putney to use the common and impounded their cattle which they found on it. (fn. 10) An attempt was made in 1802 to hold a fair on the common in place of the one that had been prohibited at Mortlake, but the magistrates would not allow it. (fn. 11) The common used to be very swampy, and it was then a favourite haunt of naturalists. But about thirty years ago it was drained, and its condition was greatly improved. Since that time it has been planted with trees, and it is naturally very fertile in furze, broom, briar and heath. It was preserved for public use under the Metropolitan Commons Acts of 1866 and 1869. (fn. 12) The urban district council of Barnes now has the management of it, but the rights of the lord of the manor are reserved to the Dean and canons of St. Paul's. (fn. 13) Market gardening is carried on in the fields by the river, but modern houses are encroaching in this direction every year. During the last century the population increased very rapidly, as Barnes became a residential suburb of London. (fn. 14) The new ecclesiastical parish of Holy Trinity was formed in 1881. (fn. 15) The church of St. Michael and All Angels, consecrated in 1892, (fn. 16) is a chapel of ease to the parish church. A Baptist chapel was built in 1868. There is a Wesleyan chapel on Barnes Green, and there are two mission halls in the parish. The cemetery with a chapel on the common was opened in 1855.
On Barnes Green is a school for girls and infants, built in 1850. Westfield Boys' School was built in 1870 and enlarged in 1878 and 1892. Westfield Girls' School was built in 1880 for girls and infants, and an infants' school was built in 1904. Castelnau Girls and Infants' School was built in 1883 and enlarged in 1891.
The manor of BARNES appears to have originally formed part of the manor of Mortlake, which belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was granted to the Dean and canons of St. Paul's at some date before 1086, and at the time of the Survey was held of the archbishop, and paid geld with his manor of Mortlake. (fn. 17) In 1181 it paid geld with the archbishop's men of Wimbledon, (fn. 18) and it was to the archbishop as lord of the manor of Wimbledon that the Dean and canons of St. Paul's owed service in 1408–9. (fn. 19)
The cathedral of St. Paul's apportioned certain of its lands for the support of each canon. The remaining lands (called the communa) were placed out at farm in the hands of firmarii, who exercised the rights of lord of the manor (fn. 20) and paid a certain sum of money to the cathedral, and furnished a fixed quantity of supplies, afterwards commuted for money instead (or possibly this was paid as well as supplies). This practice is probably as old as the need of fixed supplies for a large monastic or capitular body, but one of the earliest recorded instances of a manor being let out to farm in this way occurs in 1108, when the manor of Barnes was leased to William and Walbertus, canons of St. Paul's, for their lives, in return for a yearly payment of £8 and a sextar of wine. (fn. 21) The survey made by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's of their manors in 1222 gives an account of Barnes and the services due from it at this date. It was assessed at 4 hides, only half the assessment of 1086. It was bound to plough 12 acres of the archbishop's land, and of this the villeinage had to plough 8 acres, and the canons or their farmers 4 acres, with food at the archbishop's court. It also had to supply eighteen men and the reeve of Barnes for the great brewing of the archbishop, with food twice at the archbishop's court. The villeinage had to pay 32d. for the lands of Putleworth, Aldeland and Hetta to the archbishop. Two men of the villeinage and the reeve were liable to have to attend at the archbishop's halmote, and the villeinage had to send one man to attend the shire courts, with the reeve, together with one man of the archbishop. On the demesne, which consisted of 300 acres of arable land, 30 acres of meadow with a little meadow called Cotmannemade and 28 acres of pasture, there were two plough-teams with eight oxen and two horses for each plough, the ploughs of the villeins having similar teams. There had been a mill, but it was not working owing to failure of water. (fn. 22)
In 1256 Barnes was leased to Robert de Barton, precentor, for life, for an annual payment of three rents in bread and beer, customary dues to the bakehouse and brewhouse and 40s. to the chapter. (fn. 23) Richard le Fraunceys and Pagan his wife appear to have held the manor in 1273–4, in which year they conveyed all their interest in it to the dean and chapter, (fn. 24) but ten years later the king issued an order that it should not be leased to any but members of the church of St. Paul. (fn. 25) The dean and chapter received a grant of free warren in Barnes in 1316. (fn. 26) In the early years of the reign of Edward II the manor was held by Thomas Cobham, canon of St. Paul's. (fn. 27) He resigned his canonry when he was made Bishop of Worcester by papal provision in 1317, and the pope granted the manor of Barnes to Vitalis, Cardinal of St. Martin's in Montibus, who was at that date resident in London. (fn. 28) The cardinal sent his proctor to take possession, but he was refused admission, and the dean and chapter obtained an order from the king forbidding the papal grant to be published. (fn. 29) The king also forbade the Bishop of Worcester to transfer the manor to the cardinal, asserting that he would uphold the gifts of his progenitors. (fn. 30) The pope endeavoured to bring pressure to bear on the dean and chapter, and threatened them with excommunication, (fn. 31) but finally in 1318 a compromise was made by the intervention of two of the cardinals. By this compromise the chapter retained the manor, but paid to the cardinal five hundred florins. It was expressly stated, however, that this sum was not paid on account of the manors, but 'for their reverence to the Holy See and in order to secure the good-will of the Cardinal.' (fn. 32) In the beginning of the 15th century a dispute arose between the dean and canons and the overlord, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who claimed from them the service of acting as reeve in his manor of Wimbledon. They were, however, excused from this in 1408 on condition of giving to the archbishop every year a sparrow-hawk or 2s. and a rent of 40s. (fn. 33)
The manor was leased in 1504 to Sir Henry Wyatt for ninety-six years at an annual rent of £16 6s. 8d. (fn. 34) He sold his interest in the lease to Sir Andrew Judde, (fn. 35) who held the manor in 1555. (fn. 36) On his death it passed to his widow Mary, who had married James Altham, (fn. 37) but the children of Sir Andrew disputed her possession, (fn. 38) and it finally came into the possession of Thomas Smyth, the husband of Sir Andrew's daughter Alice. (fn. 39) Sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state, bought the remainder of Sir Henry Wyatt's lease in 1579, (fn. 40) and in this year he also obtained a grant from Queen Elizabeth of a lease of the manor which she had bought dated to begin in 1600, when Sir Henry Wyatt's lease was due to expire. (fn. 41) During the tenancy of Walsingham Barn Elms became connected with the great affairs of state. Councils were held there and policies formed. (fn. 42) The queen with her whole court was entertained in 1585, 1588 and 1589, (fn. 43) and there also came Sir Philip Sidney, who was married to Frances, the secretary's only daughter. (fn. 44) In 1590 Sir Francis Walsingham died, (fn. 45) and Barn Elms was held by his widow. (fn. 46) His daughter, who had become a widow in 1586, (fn. 47) was secretly married to the Earl of Essex about this date. (fn. 48) This excited the queen's anger, and Essex agreed that his wife should live 'very retired at her mother's house.' (fn. 49) In consequence Barn Elms became also the occasional residence of Essex himself till his death in 1601. (fn. 50)
In 1622 Barn Elms was held by Sir John Kennedy, kt., (fn. 51) who fell heavily into debt. (fn. 52) A short time before his death in 1622–3 (fn. 53) the estate was sequestrated, (fn. 54) and finally sold for the benefit of his creditors. (fn. 55) In 1628 Edward Ferrers, one of the creditors, (fn. 56) and Catherine his wife held the lease, (fn. 57) apparently in conjunction with Richard Gosson, another of the creditors, who held the manorial courts in 1633. (fn. 58) In that year the remainder of the lease was sold by Edward and William Ferrers and William Geere to Henry Hylton Baron of Hylton. (fn. 59)
In 1639 Barn Elms was leased to the Cartwrights. (fn. 60) During the Commonwealth the lands of St. Paul's Cathedral were confiscated, and the capital messuage of Barn Elms was sold in 1649 by the commissioners for the sale of church lands to Anthony Ward and William Hitchman. (fn. 61) The manor of Barnes was sold separately in the same year and in the same manner to Richard Shute. (fn. 62) The dean and chapter regained possession in 1660 on the restoration of the king, and they renewed the lease of Barn Elms to John Cartwright. (fn. 63) About this time Abraham Cowley resided at Barnes and possibly had a sub-lease of Barn Elms from Cartwright. (fn. 64) The latter's descendants held the lease into the 18th century. In 1750 the lease was conveyed to Sir Richard Hoare. (fn. 65) He died in 1754, (fn. 66) and his estate descended to his son Richard Hoare, who was created a baronet in 1786 and died in 1787. (fn. 67) Barn Elms appears to have remained in the possession of this family till 1827. (fn. 68) In that year a suspension bridge was erected from Barnes to Hammersmith, and the company that undertook the work bought the estate of Barn Elms and made a road across it. (fn. 69) The house itself they sold to Sir Thomas Colebrook, bart. (fn. 70) It afterwards came into the possession of Vice-Chancellor Shadwell, who died there in 1850. (fn. 71) In 1876 Henry David Pochin resided there. (fn. 72) The manor has remained in the hands of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, now replaced by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In 1899 there were twenty-five tenants of the manor and four known claimants to pasture. (fn. 73)
Barn Elms is now used as the club-house of the Ranelagh Club. It stands in the middle of the grounds, stretching east and west from Barnes to Putney and bounded on the south by Barnes Common. They are well laid out and beautifully wooded, and contain besides four polo fields a golf course, tennis and croquet lawns, shrubberies and flower gardens, while to the north-west of the club-house is a fine artificial sheet of water fed from the river and the Beverley Brook, the latter running through the middle of the grounds. By the side of the lake is an open-air theatre, at the back of which is an old domed brick ice-house covered with trees and shrubs and now utilized as dressing-rooms for the performers. In the grounds are several old summer-houses, while the garden ornaments include many old leaden statuettes and vases mounted on pedestals. To the south-west of the building is a range of Ionic columns, on the top of which are antique busts. The club-house faces east and west and is an 18th-century two-story brick building, having a centre block (covered by a hipped roof of green slates), on either side of which are lower wings. Running round the house at the wall-head level is a wooden cornice surmounted by a balustrade of the same material. The sash windows are divided by astragals. Modern additions have been made at both ends of the building; a large dining room on the north projects to the west, while in an eastward extension are dressing-rooms and large palm-houses. The principal front overlooks the golf course on the east, while at the back is a large terrace. In the centre of the east front is a slightly projecting bay having a triangular pediment, in which is a shield quarterly: (1) an eagle; (2 and 3) three scallops on a cheveron, in chief a lion passant; (4) a double-headed eagle, impaling checky a fesse, the arms of Sir Richard Hoare the younger. Above the shield is a crest of an eagle's head and from the corners are festoons of laurels. There is a central entrance porch of the Doric order, with a window on each side. On either side of the central bay are three windows, while the side wings are lighted by windows having semicircular heads. The west front has a central entrance with a window at each side, while at either end of the central block is a three-sided bay window carried up the two stories. The interior of the house has been much altered. In a large drawing-room, which occupies the whole of the south-west, is an original coved plaster ceiling. Round the walls of the staircase and club-room are many prints of the Kitcat Club portraits, and the club possesses a few of the originals — Jacob Tonson, the founder, by Hogarth, Sir John Coke and Sir Christopher Wren, both by Kneller, while there are also portraits of Sir J. Kennedy and Oliver Cromwell, the latter by Lely. To the north of the house is a building, now enlarged and used as the golf-house, part of which is supposed to have been used by the members of the Kitcat Club, but this is so much restored internally and overgrown with creepers on the outside that it is impossible to confirm this tradition by architectural evidence. Adjoining the golf-house on the north are the stables.
The parish church of ST. MARY, Barnes, dates from early in the 13th century, but of this building very little remains and it has been so much restored and altered as to be almost unrecognizable. The church at present consists of nave and chancel with north and south aisles, north vestry and south-west tower. In the 13th century the church consisted of an unaisled nave and chancel and in the later part of the 16th century a western tower was added. The next addition appears to have been made late in the 18th century, when a nave and chancel were built to the north of the existing one, the old nave serving as a south aisle, while in 1852 the church was restored and enlarged, and in 1907 the west wall of the nave was rebuilt, a north aisle and vestry erected and the whole church renovated. The east window of the south aisle—the east end of which is now used as a chapel, being formerly the chancel to the original church—is of three lancets with a vesica over, and, although much restored, may be the original. A pointed arch springs from semioctagonal responds having moulded capitals, between the first pier of the nave arcade and the south wall of the aisle. The windows on the south are all much later, the eastern and western ones both being of two trefoiled lights with a multifoil under a pointed head, probably inserted when the present nave was built. The second window from the east is of three uncusped lights under a depressed two-centred segmental head of 16th-century character, while the next is a modern one of three trefoiled lights under a similar head. Between this window and the westernmost is a pointed doorway opening into a modern porch. The walls of this aisle on the outside are covered with rough-cast, the window dressings being of stone. An arcade on the north, of octagonal piers carrying wooden beams over, divides this aisle into five bays, while at the west end is a tower, used on the ground floor as a baptistery and entered from the south aisle through a pointed archway of two orders, the inner one being stopped by attached columns having moulded capitals and bases of rather debased section, the outer one being continuous. A modern oak screen divides the tower from the aisle on the east, while on the west is an entrance doorway, the inner head of which is three-centred, the outer one being square. The tower is in two stages with a parapet, and is built of brick with cement quoins and dressings. The diagonal angle buttresses are in three stages and stop at the belfry level, but the octagonal stair turret at the south-east angle, which is entered from the inside, is carried up above the parapet and surmounted by a wrought-iron weather-vane. Above the entrance doorway is a three-light stone window, and the belfry is lighted by four windows, the inner heads of which are three-centred, the outer ones square and filled in on the outside with wooden louvres. Against the east wall of the tower may be seen the marks of an earlier and steeper roof. The chancel projects beyond the south chapel and is lighted on the east by a window of three cinquefoiled lights and on the south by a smaller modern one. A doorway on the north enters the north vestry; the quire projects into the nave. The arches of the north arcade spring from octagonal piers and the nave is entered from a central west doorway. The west wall of the nave and the north aisle and vestry are built in 14th-century style in Kentish rag with stone dressings. The organ is in a gallery over the east bay of the north aisle, while there is also a gallery over the west end of the nave and north aisle approached by a circular stair turret at the north-west angle. The north aisle is entered by a west doorway. All the internal walls are plastered over. Both the aisles and the nave have separate pitched tile roofs, there being no clearstory. There are three skylights in the nave roof and one in the roof of the south aisle.
To the best of husbands John Squier the Late Faithful & (oh that for so short a time) Painfull Rector of this Parish; the only Son to that most strenuous Propugnator of Pietie & Loyalitie (both by Preaching & Suffering) John Squier sometime Vicar of St. Leonards Shorditch near London: Grace Lynch (who bare unto him one only Daughter) Conesecrated this (such as it is) small Monument of theyr mutuall Affection. He was invested in this Care an: 1660. Sept: 2. He was devested of all Care ano: 1662. Jan. 9. Aged 42 yeares.'
'Juxta hoc marmor inhumatum est corpus Thomae Powell de Byrkhead in agro CestrieŐsi Baronetti qui ubi huc viciniae de Barnes Elms visitatum venisset Clarissimam Sororem suam Mariam Cartwright viduam relictam Richardi Cartwright de Ayneho Armigeri atque una cum eá aliquandiu commoratus fuisset supremum clausit diem 24 die Septembris Anno DniĈ 1647.'
There are a peal of eight bells and a sanctus bell. The first five are modern, by Warner, the sixth by William Land, 1616; the seventh, cast by order of Thomas Smythe (1575), has two shields stamped on it, one a cheveron between three lions passant and the second a goat's head razed, also a small fleur de lis; the eighth cast by William Eldridge 1667. The sanctus bell has the initials H. N. and is dated 1637.
The registers previous to 1813 are in three volumes: (1) all entries from 1538 to 1699; (2) all entries from 1700, baptisms and burials to 1812, marriages stopping at 1753; (3) marriages from 1754 to 1812.
The church of HOLY TRINITY was built in 1868 in rather poor 13th-century style, and is a plain rectangular building, consisting of a wide aisle-less nave with chancel, which slightly projects on the east and opens into a vestry on the north and into the organ chamber on the south, both of which project a little beyond the walls of the nave. It is built of Kentish rag, with stone quoins and dressings, and is roofed with purple slates. The principal entrance is in the west front, and is of two doorways with a central stone column; while over is a large wheel window under a pointed arch, the jambs of which are continued down, serving for the doorway also. At the north-west corner is an octagonal bellturret having a pyramidal stone roof, supported by an open arched arcade of eight columns.
The nave is of five bays, lighted on the north and south by single lancet windows, and has an open steep-pitched roof, the principals of which are carried on carved corbels, the walls on the outside being buttressed. The east window is of three lancets under an arched head. The church stands back from the road in a churchyard, which is not used as a burialground.
The church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS is a fine red brick building with a tile roof, erected in 1892 in French Romanesque style to take the place of a temporary iron church built in 1878. It consists of an apsidal chancel, with a wide and lofty nave lighted by a clearstory, an apsidal north chapel, south organ chamber and vestry, north and south aisles and a baptistery at the west end of the nave.
The quire is raised above the general floor level of the church and projects into the nave. At the east end of the north aisle is an apsidal chapel having a vaulted wooden ceiling. From the apse at the east end of the chancel an arcade of pillars having carved stone capitals and red sandstone shafts carrying pointed red brick arches divides the church into six bays, the easternmost one being taken up by the quire, while from the abaci of the capitals slender attached shafts run up and take the roof principals. The inside walls of the church are treated in red and yellow brickwork. The clearstory is lighted by pairs of red brick lancet windows, as are also the aisles. The principal entrances are at the west end in the north and south walls of the aisles, while at the west end of the nave is a semicircular bay used as a baptistery, the main wall of the nave over being carried by two columns similar to those in the nave arcade.
The church of St. Mary, Barnes, was a peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 74) The advowson has always been in the hands of the Dean and Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral. (fn. 75) It appears that at one time the church was granted by the dean to Richard de Northampton for an annual payment of half a mark. (fn. 76) He was probably the brother of Henry de Northampton, a canon of St. Paul's who founded a hospital within the precincts of the cathedral about the year 1120. (fn. 77) But in 1388 it was again in the possession of the dean and chapter. (fn. 78) At some time after 1291 (fn. 79) the living was constituted a vicarage, but in 1388 the dean and chapter endowed it with great tithes and made it into a rectory. (fn. 80) This arrangement was confirmed by Archbishop Arundel in 1396. (fn. 81) The advowson was occasionally included by the dean and chapter in their lease of the manor. Thus Sir Henry Wyatt presented to the church in 1513 and 1524. (fn. 82) But it was more frequently retained in their own hands. (fn. 83)
There are further benefactions by Mr. Franks for bread and clothing and for Sunday schools; by J. and E. Biggs, about 1838 and 1840 respectively, of £15 and £7 8s. 6d. a year for the poor and Sunday schools; by Mr. Sampayo in 1859 for the poor, subject to repair of a tomb; by Mr. Sirry in 1880; by two members of the family of Bailey, by wills proved in 1882 and 1892, for the Working Men's Institute and for the poor; and by Mr. Hedgman for clothing or otherwise aiding children to attend school, the last producing £95 16s. 4d. a year. Smith's Charity is also distributed as in other Surrey parishes. The total of the charities now amounts to £1,282 3s. 1d. a year.