Tooting: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°25′41″N 0°09′54″W / 51.4280°N 0.1650°W / 51.4280; -0.1650

Tooting is located in Greater London

 Tooting shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ275715
London borough Wandsworth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW17
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Tooting
London Assembly Merton and Wandsworth
List of places: UK • England • London

Tooting is a suburb in the London Borough of Wandsworth in south London. It is 5 miles (8 km) south south-west of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[1]



Tooting has been settled since pre-Saxon times, and its name, of Anglo-Saxon derivation, means "the people of the look-out post or possibly the people of Tota" (Tota may have been a local Anglo-Saxon chieftain). 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. King Athelstan of England is thought to have confirmed lands including Totinge (Tooting) to Chertsey Abbey.

Tooting appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Totinges. Lower Tooting was held from Chertsey Abbey by Haimo the Sheriff (of Kent). Its domesday assets were: 1 church, 2½ ploughs, 5 acres (20,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered £4. Later in the Norman period it came into the possession of the De Gravenel family after whom it was named Tooting Graveney. Upper Tooting, or Tooting Bec, appears as a distinct area and was held by the Abbey of Hellouin Bec, in Normandy, thus acquiring the "Bec" in its name. Its domesday assets were: 5 hides. It had 5½ ploughs, 13 acres. It rendered £7.[2]

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

Cultural references

The BBC comedy series Citizen Smith was set in Tooting and popularised the cry "Freedom for Tooting!". Star of the series Wolfie Smith (played by Robert Lindsay) was a beret-hatted Communist "leftie" type, founder of fictional revolutionary political organisation, the Tooting Popular Front.

In 2005, a 28-km diameter crater on Mars was named after Tooting.[3] A geologic map of Tooting Crater is under preparation, and will be published by the U.S. Geological Survey in the United States.

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

British TV police drama 'The Bill' is frequently filmed in and around Tooting.

Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom found fame after she webcast 21 performances from her basement flat in Tooting between February and March 2006. Her track 'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)' reached No1 in the UK charts on 2 June 2006.

Tooting Bec appears in the book The Meaning of Liff, defined as the situation in which a driver sounds his or her horn at a car in front, only to discover that the car in front is parked.


The Member of Parliament for Tooting is Sadiq Khan, first elected at the 2005 General Election to represent the parliamentary constituency of Tooting.

Open spaces

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 nearer to Tooting, and Tooting Bec Common towards Streatham. The commons are home to Tooting Bec Lido, which is 90 metres long and 30 metres wide making it undoubtedly the largest freshwater open air pool in the UK.


Tooting shares a football club with nearby Mitcham: Tooting & Mitcham United F.C.

One of London's few greyhound racing tracks, the Wimbledon Stadium, is located in Tooting.

Former British and European Light Middleweight boxing champion Wayne Alexander was born in Tooting.


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. It also has good bus links, with routes to and from Central London, Croydon, Sutton and Richmond, amongst others.[4]

Tooting Broadway tube sign

Nearest railway stations


The Tooting Markets are open Monday to Saturday with a wide range of small independent marketplace sellers.

Tooting is a centre of the Muslim Pakistani community of south London. There are many Indian and Pakistani clothes shops, sweet shops and Restaurants. There are also many Somalis, Tamils, Poles and Jamaicans in the area.

Notable people


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also tooting


Proper noun




  1. A suburb of south London


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