The Church of St Mary, Barnes has a Grade 2* listing and dates from the time of the Domesday Book. Over subsequent centuries the fabric was extended and altered successively in response to changing needs and a growing congregation. In 1978 the church was largely destroyed by fire and designs were developed for a new church. This occupies the site of its predecessors and incorporates elements of historical significance and architectural distinction, notably the south wall, east gable, vestry, northwest turret and tower. In 1984, following rebuilding, the church was rehallowed, with the tower being further restored in 1990. The church forms part of the outstanding conservation area of Barnes Green, and stands within an extensive walled and gardened churchyard, with specimen yew tree and lych gate entrance.
Next to the church, on the corner of Kitson Road, is the Georgian Strawberry House, which was rebuilt in 1717 - 27 with an added second floor and parapet. It was sold shortly after WWII and is now a private residence. St Mary's Church, The Grange, Strawberry House and the Homestead form a listed group - see www.richmond.gov.uk/conarea1_a3_rgb.pdf
Forty metres along Kitson Road is Kitson Hall, which hosts a wide range of church and community care activities – regular users and contact details are listed here.
To find the next Oar, continue along Church Road past the row of shops and cafés and you will see the 18th century Grange. Oar 4, Barnes Green and The Grange, is on the left, across the zebra crossing.
On the sign:
This is the oldest building in Barnes. A church has existed on this site since c.1100 and the original structure is at the west end of the Langton chapel (on the right as you enter), where you can also see traces of wall paintings dating from the 12th Century.
The chancel to the east of the chapel, with its lancet windows, was added in c.1215, when the church is said to have been rededicated by Stephen Langton the Archbishop of Canterbury. These early features, together with the 15th century Tower survived a disastrous fire in June1978, which destroyed the Victorian and Edwardian additions. They now form an integral part of the re-built and re-vitalised church, designed by prize-winning architect Edward Cullinan and re-hallowed in 1984. St Mary’s is open to visitors each weekday morning from 10.30am-12.30.
Climbing the tower is a popular feature at the annual Barnes Fair held on the second Saturday in July. Next door to the church is the Georgian Rectory, sold shortly after WW2 and now a private residence named Strawberry House.