In the Middle Ages, Barnes was owned by St Paul’s Cathedral (and they still apparently have the right to appoint the local Rector).
Until well into the 19th century Barnes was a backwater because there was not easy way to reach it. But that changed when Hammersmith Bridge was constructed in 1824-7. (This bridge, which was London’s first suspension bridge, was replaced with a new bridge by Joseph Bazalgette in 1883-7.) Castlenau was constructed in 1827 to give access from the bridge, and Lonsdale Road followed in 1846. The area was then quickly developed with houses.
But the original village was preserved, along with the village green and duck pond, and the common to the south of the village (containing 120 acres). When it was still a village, Barnes was a centre for the brewery industry, with a number of inns.
The Sun near the pond is the only surviving pub from the 18th century. Barnes Terrace has a number of 18th and 19th century houses along the river front. W. E. Henley and Gustav Holst lived there. A French master spy and his wife were murdered there by their valet.