Milbourne House is considered to be the oldest private residence in Barnes. It faces directly onto Barnes Pond and Green. Believed to have taken its name from the family who lived there in the 15th century. A brass commemorating Sir William de Milbourne, who died in 1415 disappeared from the parish church of St. Mary some time in the 18th century. The present Milbourne House is mainly late 17th and early 18th centuary, although parts of the earlier Tudor building survive, among them an Elizabethan fireplace in the entrance hall.
Seriously damaged by enemy action in WW2, the house was restored and converted into two separate dwellings in 1955,but lost most of its beautiful and extensive rear gardens to building development. Part of the garden wing, now known as Ratcliff House, closely resembles a small 15th century hall house with solar and is possibly the oldest part of the original house, although there is no actual evidence to support this view.
Former residents include Robert Beale, Secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I's spymaster who lived at the nearby Manor House, Barn Elms. Beale was one of the party who carried the order for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots to Fotheringay and who witnessed her execution. He died at the house in 1601. Henry Fielding, Novelist (1707-1754) a later resident, earned the house a Blue Plaque.