The recreation ground as we know it began a century ago, when the Barnes Urban District Council purchased 5.5 acres for £3850 from the executors of the estate of Walter Barker, the market gardener who owned the land, with the aim of providing a space for recreation. Initially there was no access from the western (Westfields) end.
In 1932, Following negotiations with Joseph Pither of 68 Railway Side, a piece of his land 10’ x 55’ was purchased by the Recreation Ground for £100, with an agreement to erect a 6′ fence between the land and his remaining garden. This land provided the main pedestrian access from Railway Side that continues to this day.
Over the years there were many additions: the main pavilion with changing rooms and a tea-room, a ‘keeper’s cottage’, paddling pool, playground, bowling green and bowling pavilion.
At one stage in living memory, a team of three full time groundsmen and an apprentice were all employed to look after this site alone.