|Trail Map||Next Oar|
For more historical background to Barnes see www.barnes-history.org.uk, the website of the Barnes and Mortlake History Society. Founded in 1955, the Society promotes interest in the local history of Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen and has 400 members. Four newsletters are delivered to members each year and from September to April each year the Society presents a lecture each month (with a December break). An active research group meets six times a year.
Two other websites that include historical information about Barnes are British History Online: Barnes and Edith's Streets - London local history.
If you're more interested in the future of Barnes, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) has developed a number of 'Village Plans' for the 14 village areas in its remit. Each sets out the key issues and priorities and provides background information on the village area. The vision for Barnes is to maintain the character of Barnes as an attractive residential area and use the Barnes Trail to promote it more widely as a tourist destination. You can find it here.
Church Road, along with Barnes High Street, North Castelnau and White Hart Lane, is one of the four main retail areas of Barnes. A comprehensive listing of Barnes shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants and useful services is available on this site.
To find the next Oar, cross Castelnau into Church Road, walking on the right hand side, and you will find Oar 2, The Olympic Cinema, about 100 metres along, next to the red telephone box outside this imposing building. The silver trail markers are on the left-hand side of the road, for the convenience of people continuing round from Rocks Lane, but both this and the next oar are on the right.
The Red Lion pub also marks the start of a 3-mile extension to the trail that follows the meander loop of the River Thames along much of the course of the University Boat Race. This is marked by wooden fingerposts as the ground is unsuitable for metal discs. Oar E1, Queen Elizabeth Walk and the Trail Extension, is just round the corner in Queen Elizabeth Walk.
On the sign:
The boundaries of Barnes have been undisputed for centuries and the village occupies 902 acres. This walk will take you to its western extremity where it borders Mortlake village. Both villages were listed in the Domesday book (1087) under their Saxon names Berne (meaning barn) and Mortelage (possibly meaning a watercourse controlled by Morta, a Saxon leader). Although they didn't always see eye to eye, both villages benefited from being able to trade with the ever growing city of London down river. However this part of the meander remained a bit of a rural backwater until the first Hammersmith bridge was built in 1827.
The Red Lion Records show that the Red Lyon was an established small thatched pub with a stable by 1718. It burnt down in 1836 and was replaced with this building. Lions are a theme of many Barnes houses too; legend has it that a builder ordered 100 lions to embellish his newly built houses and 1,000 arrived.