Barnes Common

Post to the west Barnes Common
Post to the north Barnes
Poist to the east Putney Boathouses

Barnes Common
Barnes Common. This is common land - one of the largest such areas in London , It has been owned by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral since 925 and today they act through the Church Commissioners, while the Common is managed by the London Borough of Richmond. There is also a local Friends of Barnes Common organisation.  Sometimes called 'The Waste' it has been common land for over than a thousand years and was traditionally used for rough grazing and providing 'furze' which Commoners could cut for firewood. The boundary was fixed in the 1590’s following disputes with Putney residents over grazing rights. There have been enclosures of common land over the centuries – that at Mill Hill, and more for the workhouse in 1778, and later for the Barnes Old Cemetery. It is now bisected by the railway, as well as by several road
Nature Reserve. The Common is designated as Metropolitan Open Land and as a Conservation Area as well as a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Nature Conservation Importance. It is sandy with hawthorn scrub and lots of birds.  Its importance is due to the acid grassland close to Mill Hill which has survived draining and the planting of rows of standard trees.  Without management it would be invaded by bracken, bramble, gorse and tree saplings and revert to poor quality woodland. It is now managed by the Friends of Barnes Common who have got the funding for a reed bed and two new ponds as well as plans for a new wildflower meadow and another scheme to restore an old pond. Non-native trees are replaced by natives like oak and ash and creating glades for butterflies and birds. Standing dead wood is left as a refuge for beetles and other invertebrates. The cover provided by bramble and bracken are the basis of a mixed habitat away from the sports pitches. The Common is the only known site in Greater London for the burnet rose.
Thames Aqueducts.  The Thames Water Ring main passes under the Common,

Dover House Road
Dover House Estate. London County Council estate. This was built in the 1920s and inspired by the garden city movement and built under the 'Homes fit for heroes' policies. It was planned with houses in short terraces with vistas over green space. The first tenants were civil servants, teachers and bus drivers. And until the 1950w no changes were allowed to the outside of the property. Gradually change crept in and private ownership damaged the integrity of the design. In 1978 a management strategy put in place and Conservation area status inaugurated,

Dyers Lane
Dyers Lane forms the boundary between Barnes and Putney
Railway Bridge. A footbridge crosses the railway from the north end of the road to Beauchamp Terrace on the other side. Historically this was Dyers Lane on both sides of the railway and the bridge marks the line of the old right of way.
Until the 1970s the road ended at the railway, and at the end on the west side was a large furniture depository. In 1978 the road was extended onto this site and houses built here, and on the west side of the road, for Richmond Council
Garage. In 1901 this was the Eclectic Manufacturing Company which appears to have been bankrupt in the same year. They were probably involved in an electro plating process.  In succeeding years this garage, at the southern end of the road specialised in expensive sports cars.

Fairdale Gardens
On site of Putney Squash and Tennis Club. This was replaced by houses in the 1960s.

Halcyon Close
Blocks of posh flats with ‘Royal’ names gated off from the rest of the world. They appear to have been built on an old coal yard area connected to an extensive area of railway sidings.

Lower Richmond Road
Putney Lower Common Cemetery.  In 1855 land was bought by the local Burial Board from Earl Spencer, Lord of the Manor, for a cemetery. It has ornate railings and gates on Lower Richmond Road, and is bounded by brick wall, with some other railings. The ragstone chapels and lodge were designed by Barnett and Birch in 1855. The cemetery is closed for burials. There are a variety of trees including yew and has been designated as a site of ecological importance. The cemetery is wooded where the boundary wall meets Barnes Common.
Putney Cricket Club. This was founded in 1870. It was then called St John’s and had been set up by the church choir. Initially they had a site on the Lower Common, close their present site. As other clubs failed they changed their name to Putney Cricket Club. Their pavilion dates from 1959.

Mill Hill Road
Tollhouse at the Putney/Barnes Common boundary. It is a single-storey early 19th building. This was not actually a toll house but a house for the gatekeeper at a boundary gate used to control straying livestock.
Mediaeval ditch. This runs across Common between the Parish boundaries and kept grazing animals from straying. It is overgrown, but still marks the eastern boundary.

Newnes Path
This was development was built in the 1970s over the northern allotments of the Dover House Estate. It was the first major change to the estate layout and challenge to its integrity.

Putney Park Lane
This lane was laid out by the early 18th as a formal tree-lined drive and became the access to a number of grand houses built here. It also connects as a through route to Gypsy Lane to the north. It now runs south as far as Putney Heath and remains a footpath for most of its length

Queen's Ride
Tree where rock star Mark Bolan was killed in a car crash. the site is a place of pilgrimage to Bolan fans. In1997, the Performing Rights Society set up a bronze bust memorial facing Gipsy Lane.  In 1999 the T-Rex Action Group were granted an in perpetuity lease on the site and built steps up to the tree and the Memorial. In 2005, memorial plaques were fitted to the steps to other members of T-Rex who have since died.
Barnes Workhouse. This was built in 1778 on the triangle of land which now lies at the apex of the junction of Queen’s Ride and the Upper Richmond Road. It closed in 1836 and the site became a market garden and housing and later the Manor House Hotel., The site is now Roehampton Court flats on the footprint of the Manor House Hotel. The money raised by the sale of the site is still managed by the Barnes Workhouse Trust.
Cattle trough.  The inscription says “METROPOLITAN DRINKING FOUNTAIN & CATTLE TROUGH ASSOCIATION”  It is a trough in granolithic apparently given by the Misses Hughes of Leytonstone in 1934.

Railway Line
Barnes Junction. The original line through Barnes from Waterloo opened in 27 1846 as part of the line to Richmond. the first section of the Hounslow Loop Line  opened in 1849 with the division of line slightly to the west of Barnes Station. It thus became a junction station. On the London side of the station there are four tracks; one pair of which is for the Loop Line.

Rocks Lane
This was a cart track until the late 19th.

Roehampton Lane
This square covers the east side only where in the 19th and early 20th a number of grand houses stood. They are now replaced, mainly, by up market housing.
Roehampton Lodge
Ellenborough House
Subiaco Lodge

Station Road
Barnes Station.  This opened in 1846 and now lies between Putney and Mortlake on one line and Bridge on the other, - both on South Western Trains. It has very tall chimneys. It is surrounded by woodland and apparently little changed since it was built. It is believed to have been designed by Sir William Tite.
Goods yard. There was an extensive goods yard with a coal yard and several sidings to the east of the station and south of the line. Much of this remains and appears to be semi derlict, although the coal yard is now posh flats.
Cricket Ground. Barnes Common cricket ground is next to the station. It is the oldest cricket pitch in Barnes, dating from 1893.

The Pleasaunce
Open space in the Dover House Estate – with trees, grass and seats, It is on the site of a green area which had been part of mediaeval and later estates here and it retains its woodland appearance.  It is now an open green which supports trees and birdlife.  There is a small ‘natural’ play area is at one end.
St Margaret’s Court. Care home area in The Pleasaunce

Upper Richmond road
This is now the South Circular Road A205.  This stretch goes in a ‘reasonably straight line.’ It is tree lined and almost entirely lined with up market blocks of flats.
408 Northumberland Arms. This is now a small supermarket. It closed on Christmas Eve 2013. It had also been called the West Putney Tavern and also Jim Thompson's and Captain Cook.
Presbyterian Church. This stood on the corner with Briar Walk  and replaced an earlier church in Putney Park Lane in 1897. It was bombed and rebuilt in 1946. The last service to be held took place in February 1996 and it has now been replaced with flats.
Lodge. This is at the entrance to Putney Park Lane
Milestone. This is an 18th Portland stone milestone which previously stood in Rocks Lane, The inscription says that Hyde Park Corner is less than 6 miles distant,
Red Rover, This pub was originally called The Railway Arms or The Railway Tavern and also The Market Gardener,  the Corner Pin and Cafe More. It had closed by 2008 and is now flats.

Woodborough Road
Falcons School for Girls. This fee paying private ‘preparatory’ school moved here from Ealing in 2014. It is part of a commercial schools group.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Enable. Web site
Falcons School. Web site.
Friends of Barnes Common. Web site
London Borough of Richmond. Web site
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
London Parks and Gardens. Web site//
Municipal Dreams. Web site
MDFCTA, Web site
Parks and Gardens UK. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Putney Cricket Club. Web site
SABRE.. Web site
Smyth. Citywildspace
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
What Pub?? CAMRA. Web site


Unknown said…
Hello Edith,

Thoroughly enjoy your website.

My partner and I are working on a project to discover the origins of every street name in Greater London.

So far we've published 3,800, with more added every day.

Hope you don't mind but we've used one of your entries on our website, as it is the kind of acerbic description that appeals to us. We've included a link to your own blog.

Please let us know if you'd rather we didn't and we'll remove it.

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Kind regards


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