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

Junction of Mitcham Road and Tooting High Street
Tooting is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Population16,239 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ275715
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtSW17
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°25′41″N 0°09′54″W / 51.4280°N 0.1650°W / 51.4280; -0.1650


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, Punjabi, Polish and Gujarati.[17]


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

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]


  1. ^ "Wandsworth Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  2. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)" (PDF). Greater London Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 February 2008.
  3. ^ a b Morden, William Edward (1923). The History of Tooting-Graveney: Surrey. ISBN 1-142-75150-3.
  4. ^ "S 420". Electronic Sawyer. King's College London. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  5. ^ Samuel Lewis, ed. (1848). "Tonbridge - Topsham". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Vision of Britain, Tooting Graveney parish boundary".
  7. ^ Anna Powell-Smith. "Place: Tooting [Graveney] and [Upper] Tooting". Open Domesday. Professor J.J.N. Palmer, University of Hull. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. ^ "The history of the borough - Listed buildings and borough history". Wandsworth Council. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Tooting Library celebrates 100th birthday". Wandsworth Council. 13 November 2002. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Design award for Tooting Library". NPS Group. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Tooting Bec Lido". Time Out London. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Granada Tooting in London, GB - Cinema Treasures".
  13. ^ "History of St George's". St George's, University of London. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Is Tooting One Of The Coolest Places On Earth?". Londonist. 4 September 2017.
  16. ^ Services, Good Stuff IT. "Tooting - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  17. ^ Services, Good Stuff IT. "Tooting Main Language- UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  18. ^ "TFL Guide to Buses from Tooting Broadway" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Crossrail 2". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Totterdown Fields Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy". Wandsworth Conservation & Design Group. 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Wandsworth Areas of Social Housing".
  22. ^ "Wandsworth Council Estates Map".
  23. ^ Katie Engelhart (25 January 2017). "The London of London's Mayor". New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Plough Lane uncovered after a 30-year wait".
  25. ^ "About Market". Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Stephen K Amos back in Croydon". Your Local Guardian. Newsquest (London & Essex). 19 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Obituary: George Cole". BBC News. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  28. ^ Kilmister, Lemmy; Garza, Janiss (1 June 2003). White Line Fever. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-03331-6. Retrieved 5 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  29. ^ Choat, Isabel (24 August 2017). "In praise of Tooting, south London". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  30. ^ a b "Then and Now: Tony Meo". Eurosport. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  31. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Silly Little Hill (Remastered). 23 June 2015.
  32. ^ "Television Heaven: Reviews". Television Heaven. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  33. ^ "Citizen Smith". BBC Comedy. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Mars crater named after Tooting". BBC News. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  35. ^ "Geologic Map of Tooting Crater, Amazonis Planitia Region of Mars". U.S. Geological Survey. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  36. ^ "Tooting Broadway Film". Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  37. ^ Parker, Oliver (Director) (21 October 2011). Johnny English Reborn (Motion picture). Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  38. ^ "24 hours in A&E". St George's, University of London. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  39. ^ Fraser, Emma (21 June 2019). "Emmys 2019: Fleabag's Sian Clifford was the Secret MVP of Season 2".
  40. ^ Ted Lasso. It starts on the page