Barnes in the Eighteenth Century

"The High Street on the opposite side – the part joining The Terrace – was dense with small cottages. These small cottages built behind the terrace were named Moewhena, Wilcox, Waring’s and Railway Cottages, Garden Row, Waring’s Buildings, St John’s, Wentworth and Parker’s Row. Here too was the Mission Room in which Miss Eastman conducted her ragged school and dispensed soup and dinners to the children during the winter months. The entire area was known as Waring’s Buildings, and named after John Waring, a Queen’s Messenger, and a previous owner. It was here that a large number of the working population of Barnes still lived in mid-Victorian times. Next a passage off the High Street led to Waring’s Cottages – "the long row" as they were sometimes called. The row housed fourteen families, each in four rooms. There were no hallways, and the front doors opened directly into the living rooms. Small gardens faced the row on either side of the passage, but these were so overrun by cats and children that very little ever grew there. Back on the High Street, Waring’s Cottage was a separate building – a low one storey cottage with a fine mulberry tree in front.

A narrow roadway led from The Terrace to Cleveland Gardens and the area known as the "Back of Terrace" – i.e. Waring’s Buildings, Malthouse Row and the other courts and alleys. This had once divided the houses just mentioned from the ancient Barnes Malthouses. Several small adjoining houses led to the railway bridge. Beyond the bridge, a long alley skirted the railway and led to Westfields, the working class district of Barnes."

(Extracts from Childhood Memories of Early Barnes Villages by Mary Attwell 1859-1933)

"The development of Back Lane began slowly in the early nineteenth century until by the middle years, it was crowded with cottages, stables and sheds all along the southern edge with a veritable warren of courts and alleys at the High Street end, the whole being airily dismissed as ‘the back of The Terrace’or ‘the back lanes’. During the last century, a small colony of tobacco pipe makers flourished in the Lane.

The complicated rookery of a little over two acres at the High Street end was doomed under a clearance scheme of 1911. Venturing into this quarter from the High Street, the visitor encountered Morwenha Cottages, Quick’s Cottages, Waring’s Cottages, Wentworth Cottages, Thorne Cottages, Malthouse Cottages, Vine Cottages, Parker’s Row, Long Row and St John’s Row, some within handshaking reach across the narrow alleyways dividing them. Malthouse Cottages were a conversion of an old malthouse. Over a long period, it belonged to members of the Waring family, sometime owners of the Sun Inn, the Coach & Horses, the Bull’s Head and a small brewery in the High Street.

Demolition in the warren was in stages so that the 141 inhabitants could move into the new council houses as they were completed. Malthouse Passage at that point was widened into the present road over Morwenha, Waring’s and Thorne Cottages and Parker’s Row. It was named Terrace Gardens in June 1914."

(Extracts from Highways and Byways of Barnes by M.Grimwade & C.Hailstone 1992)

Both books are published by Barnes and Mortlake History Society.


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