The village lies in a valley, between the River Trent and the Trent and Mersey canal. It is approximately 6 miles from the centre of Derby and has good communications with the motorway network; Junction 3 of the A50 is 2.5 miles away and Junction 24a of the M1 approximately 5 miles. East Midlands Airport is 8 miles to the east.
Barrow is a village of 227 households with approximately 430 electors. There is a popular village hall with car park, Community Park for general village use, Sale and Davy’s Primary School and the church of Saint Wilfrid’s. There is no shop or public house, but the “Brookfield“, a Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers Club, welcomes visitors. The Methodist Chapel on Chapel Lane was built in 1839 and is now a private residence. The Walnuts, an attractive former farmhouse on Church Lane, was the home of George Turner, the landscape artist, and this part of the Trent valley is the location for many of his paintings.
In the centre of the village on Twyford Road is an attractive row of ten Grade II listed cottages, known as “The Row”. These are owned by the Parish Council and let to people with village connections. The Parish Council also owns the Pinfold, originally used for impounding stray cattle.
Within the parish, to the North West of Barrow village lies Arleston, a small hamlet dating back to pre-Domesday where the Knights Hospitallers are reputed to have had a house, and to the south of Arleston lies Merrybower, once an open common where a celebrated deer stealer once kept a public house and cock-pit.