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Junction of Mitcham Rd. and Tooting High St., Tooting. - - 1019797.jpg
Junction of Mitcham Road and Tooting High Street
Greater London UK location map 2.svg
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Location within Greater London
Population16,239 (2011 Census. Ward) [1]
OS grid reference TQ275715
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW17
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°25′41″N0°09′54″W / 51.4280°N 0.1650°W / 51.4280; -0.1650 Coordinates: 51°25′41″N0°09′54″W / 51.4280°N 0.1650°W / 51.4280; -0.1650

Tooting is a district in South London, forming part of the London Borough of Wandsworth and partly in the London Borough of Merton. It is located 5 miles (8 kilometres) south south-west of Charing Cross. [2]



A map showing the Tooting ward of Wandsworth Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916 Wandsworth Met. B Ward Map 1916.svg
A map showing the Tooting ward of Wandsworth Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916

Tooting has been settled since pre-Saxon times. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin but the meaning is disputed. It could mean the people of Tota, in which context Tota may have been a local Anglo-Saxon chieftain. [3] Alternatively it could be derived from an old meaning of the verb to tout, to look out. There may have been a watchtower here on the road to London and hence the people of the look-out post. [3]

The Romans built a road, which was later named Stane Street by the English, from London (Londinium) to Chichester (Noviomagus Regnorum), and which passed through Tooting. Tooting High Street is built on this road. In Saxon times, Tooting and Streatham (then Toting-cum-Stretham) was given to the Abbey of Chertsey. Later, Suene (Sweyn), believed to be a Viking, may have been given all or part of the land. In 933, King Athelstan is thought to have confirmed lands including Totinge (Tooting) to Chertsey Abbey. [4]

Tooting appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Totinges: Lower Tooting was held from Chertsey Abbey by Haimo the Sheriff (of Kent) when its assets were 1 church, 2+12 ploughlands of land and 5 acres (2 hectares) of meadow. Its people were called to render £4 per year to their overlords. Later in the Norman period, it came into the possession of the De Gravenel family, after whom it was named Tooting Graveney. Until minor changes in the 19th century it consisted of 2 km2 (34 sq mi). [5] The ancient parish of Tooting Graveney included the southern part of what is now Streatham. [6]

Upper Tooting, or Tooting Bec (for centuries administered as part of Streatham), appears as a manor held by the Abbey of Hellouin Bec, in Normandy, thus acquiring the "Bec" in its name. Its domesday assets were 5 hides. It had 5+12 ploughlands and so was assessed as rendering £7. [7]

As with many of South London's suburbs, Tooting developed during the late Victorian period. [8] Some development occurred in the Edwardian era but another large spurt in growth happened during the 1920s and 30s.


The Member of Parliament for Tooting is Dr Rosena Allin-Khan of the Labour Party, who was first elected in a 2016 by-election to represent the parliamentary constituency of Tooting. [14] This followed the election of her predecessor Sadiq Khan to the role of Mayor of London in May 2016.

Since the creation of the Tooting seat, it has been held by Labour, often with a marginal result against a Conservative Party challenge. Although the constituency boundaries include wards represented by both Labour and the Conservatives, the Tooting ward itself can be regarded as a Labour stronghold, electing a full slate of councillors from the party.


Tooting has a large British Asian community and has gained the nickname "land of the curry mile" due to the concentration of South Asian restaurants. [15]

In the 2011 census, Tooting was White or White British (47%), Asian or Asian British (28.8%), Black or Black British (15.5%), Mixed/multiple ethnic groups (5%), and Other ethnic group (2.9%). The largest single ethnicity is White British (32.4%). [16]

The main spoken first languages are English, followed by Urdu, Polish and Gujarati. [17]


Tooting Broadway tube sign Tooting Broadway station.jpg
Tooting Broadway tube sign

Tooting is positioned on the Northern line—with stations at the top and the bottom of the hill that slopes down the High Street, Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway. Tooting is also served by National Rail at Tooting railway station providing a direct link south to Sutton via Wimbledon, and north to Farringdon, St Pancras and on to Luton.

It also has several bus links, with routes to and from Central London, Richmond, Croydon, Sutton and Kingston amongst others. [18]

Tooting Broadway tube station is currently being considered by TfL as a stop on the future Crossrail 2 development. In addition to relieving congestion on the Northern Line, this would provide Tooting with a rapid and direct connection to major London stations such as Clapham Junction, Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston. [19]

Conservation area

Totterdown Fields estate was designated a conservation area on 19 September 1978. It was the first London County Council cottage estate built between 1901 and 1911, containing 1244 individual houses over 38 acres (15 ha). It was influenced by Ebenezer Howard's Garden city movement and the Arts and Crafts movement. [20]

Social housing estates

As previously mentioned, Totterdown Fields estate has considerable historical significance, being the first "cottage estate" within London and later protected from redevelopment through its designation as a conservation area. Within the London Borough of Wandsworth, Tooting has the fourth-highest number of social housing accommodation after Roehampton, Battersea and Southfields in that order. [21] Notable large post-modern estates within the area are the: Aboyne/Holborn and Hazelhurst with smaller estates including: Bevill Allen Close, Burtop Road, Copeland House, Flowersmead, Newlands and Tooting Grove. [22]

Open spaces

Sun over Tooting Common Tootingbeccommon1.jpg
Sun over Tooting Common

A large open area, popularly known as the Tooting Commons, lies at the northern end of Tooting. Historically this was two separate open spaces: Tooting Graveney Common (formerly part of Tooting Graveney parish), and Tooting Bec Common (formerly part of Streatham parish). The commons are home to Tooting Bec Lido, [23] which is 91.5 m × 30 m (300 ft × 98 ft).


Tooting shares two football clubs with nearby Mitcham: Tooting & Mitcham FC and Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers FC.

A greyhound racing track, the 'Wimbledon Stadium', was narrowly in Tooting on Plough Lane. AFC Wimbledon moved to the site in 2021. [24]


Tooting has two indoor markets, with numbers of permanent stalls. The entrances of both are situated on the same street, Tooting High Street, only a few metres apart. They both have many types of outlets, but since the 2010s have also developed a focus on street food stalls. Tooting Market is the smaller of the two; the other, The Broadway Market, is one of the largest of London's indoor markets, having more than ninety stalls, and has been active since 1936. [25]

Notable people

Cultural references

In André Charlot's West End revue The Charlot Show of 1926, Jessie Matthews and Henry Lytton, Jnr. sang "Silly Little Hill", which features the lyric "there's no fishing, there’s no shooting dear / and no cyclists fresh from Tooting dear", which they also recorded that year. [31]

The Ealing Studios film Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), starring Alec Guinness, references Tooting Bec as the residence of one of the characters.

The BBC comedy series Hugh & I (1962–67) was set in the fictional Lobelia Avenue in Tooting. [32]

The BBC comedy series Citizen Smith (1977–80) was set in Tooting and popularised the cry "Freedom for Tooting!". The lead character in the series, Wolfie Smith (Robert Lindsay), was the founder of a fictional revolutionary socialist political organisation, the Tooting Popular Front. [33]

The Kitchens of Distinction (who formed in the area) recorded "On Tooting Broadway Station" on their album The Death of Cool (1992).

In 2005, a 28 km diameter crater on Mars was named after Tooting. [34] A geologic map of Tooting Crater was published in 2015 by the U.S. Geological Survey. [35]

The phrase "Ting Tong from Tooting" is associated with the character Ting Tong from the UK comedy sketch show Little Britain .

Tooting was the setting for the eponymous 2013 British-Tamil crime drama Gangs of Tooting Broadway . [36]

In the film Johnny English Reborn , Agent Tucker lives in Tooting. [37]

Channel 4's award-winning documentary series 24 Hours in A&E was filmed at St George's Hospital in Tooting. [38]

In the BBC comedy drama Fleabag , the title character's sister Claire says she is from Tooting. [39]

In the second season of Apple TV comedy Ted Lasso , Tooting is referenced as the home of a fictional Greek restaurant called A Taste of Athens. [40]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Balham</span> Area in south London, England

Balham is an area in south London, England, mostly within the London Borough of Wandsworth with small parts within the neighbouring London Borough of Lambeth. The area has been settled since Saxon times and appears in the Domesday Book as Belgeham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Streatham</span> Human settlement in England

Streatham is a district in south London, England. Centred 5 miles (8 km) south of Charing Cross, it lies mostly within the London Borough of Lambeth, with some parts extending into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Borough of Wandsworth</span> Borough in United Kingdom

Wandsworth is a London borough in southwest London; it forms part of Inner London and has an estimated population of 329,677 inhabitants. Its main named areas are Battersea, Balham, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth Town.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth</span>

The Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was a Metropolitan borough under the London County Council, from 1900 to 1965.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooting Broadway tube station</span> London Underground station

Tooting Broadway is a London Underground station in Tooting in the London Borough of Wandsworth, South London. The station is on the Northern line, between Tooting Bec and Colliers Wood stations and is in Travelcard Zone 3.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooting Bec</span> Human settlement in England

Tooting Bec is in the London Borough of Wandsworth, south London, England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooting (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1974 onwards

Tooting is a constituency created in 1974 in Greater London. It is represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2016 by Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, a member of the Labour Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Furzedown</span> Human settlement in England

Furzedown is a ward, in both the districts of Streatham and Tooting, wholly in the Tooting Parliamentary Constituency, within the London Borough of Wandsworth in South West London. It is a mainly residential area close to Tooting Commons, which provide a large open space including Tooting Bec Lido.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooting Bec Lido</span> Lido in London Borough of Wandsworth, United Kingdom

Tooting Bec Lido is an open-air fresh water swimming pool in South London. It is the largest fresh water swimming pool by surface area in the United Kingdom, being 100 yd (91.4 m) long and 33 yd (30.2 m) wide.

Streatham Park is an area of suburban South West London that comprises the eastern part of Furzedown ward in the London Borough of Wandsworth, formerly in the historic parish of Streatham. It is bounded by Tooting Bec Common to the north, Thrale Road and West Road to the west and the London to Brighton railway to the east.

Graveney School is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status in the Furzedown area of Tooting, southwest London, England. The school has a partially selective admissions policy. At the beginning of 2015 Graveney was assessed in an Ofsted inspection report as outstanding.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A217 road</span> Road in England

The A217 is a road in London and Surrey in England. It runs north–south. It runs from Kings Road in Fulham, London, crosses the Thames at Wandsworth Bridge, then passes through Wandsworth, Earlsfield, Summerstown, Tooting, Mitcham, Rosehill and Sutton Common in Sutton, then Cheam. Then, widened as a dual carriageway, comes Belmont, a suburban district built on a slope rising southward. On the North Downs in Surrey the road then skirts past Banstead and through its late 19th century offspring villages particularly Burgh Heath and Kingswood, Surrey. It then crosses the M25 motorway at Junction 8, then, returning to single carriageways, passes through the castle town of Reigate. It then cuts through the green buffer farmland of two rural villages and terminates at the road network at Gatwick Airport's northern perimeter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooting Commons</span> Two adjacent areas of common land in south west London, England

The Tooting Commons consist of two adjacent areas of common land lying between Balham, Streatham and Tooting, in south west London: Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A214 road</span> Road in south London

The A214 is a part primary, part non-primary A road in London, England. It runs from Wandsworth to West Wickham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hundred of Brixton</span>

Brixton Hundred or the Hundred of Brixton was for many centuries a group of parishes (hundred) used for meetings and taxation of their respective great estates in the north east of the county of Surrey, England. Its area has been entirely absorbed by the growth of London; with its name currently referring to the Brixton district. Its area corresponds to London Boroughs: Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth and parts of Lewisham, Merton and Richmond upon Thames.

Wandsworth was the name of a borough constituency created in 1885, abolished in 1918, covering the vast bulk of today's London Borough of Wandsworth in South London but excluding Battersea. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Falconbrook</span> Covered river in London, England

The Falconbrook was a stream that rose in Balham and Tooting, draining much of those parishes then the south and west of the larger district of Battersea including Clapham Junction to enter the London reaches of the Thames. Before doing so it briefly formed the border of Wandsworth Town, reflected in the SW11/SW18 boundary today.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Garratt Lane</span>

Garratt Lane is a long street in the London Borough of Wandsworth, part of the A217 road. It connects Wandsworth High Street to Tooting Broadway and is approximately 4 kilometres long. It passes through the Earlsfield and Summerstown neighbourhoods which were fields of Wandsworth before their development in the late 19th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wandsworth District (Metropolis)</span>

Wandsworth was a local government district within the metropolitan area of London, England from 1855 to 1900. It was formed by the Metropolis Management Act 1855 and was governed by the Wandsworth District Board of Works, which consisted of elected vestrymen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Totterdown Fields</span> Housing estate in London

Totterdown Fields was the first London County Council cottage estate built between 1901 and 1911 It contained 1244 individual houses built over 38 acres (15 ha). The estate was designated a conservation area, on 19 September 1978.


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