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Tooting is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is situated 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.
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 where Tota may have been a local Anglo-Saxon chieftain. 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.
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 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 (historically part of Streatham), 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 (53,000 m2). It rendered £7.
As with many of South London's suburbs, Tooting developed during the late Victorian period. Some development occurred in the Edwardian era but another large spurt in growth happened during the 1920s and '30s.
- 1906 - Tooting Bec Lido opened.
- 1954 - St George's Hospital begins to relocate to Tooting from Hyde Park Corner, taking over the old Grove Fever and Fountain Hospitals.
- 2003 - Redevelopment of St George's Hospital buildings completed.
The 1949 Ealing Classic film "Kind Hearts and Coronets" starring Alec Guinness references Tooting Bec as where one of the characters is living.
The 1977-80 BBC comedy series Citizen Smith was set in Tooting and popularised the cry "Freedom for Tooting!". Leading character in the series Wolfie Smith (played by Robert Lindsay) was the founder of a fictional revolutionary socialist political organisation, the Tooting Popular Front.
Tooting comedy double act Colin & Rob (Colin Leggo & Rob Tofield) ran Comedy at the Kirk at The Selkirk for four years until 2011, when they opened Comedy Trumpet. Comedy Trumpet, a monthly night, has brought some of the comedy circuit's biggest names to 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 number 1 on 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 phrase "Ting Tong from Tooting" is associated with the character Ting Tong from the UK comedy sketch show Little Britain.
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, which is 90 metres long and 30 metres wide.
One of London's few greyhound racing tracks, the Wimbledon Stadium, is located 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 Kingston amongst others.
Nearest railway stations
- George Cole - Actor
- Matt Willis - Musician
- Darren Bent - Professional footballer
- Bas Savage - Professional footballer
- Henning Wehn - Comedian
- Lowkey (Born Kareem Dennis) - Musician, poet, playwright, political activist
- Jimmy White - Professional snooker player
- Tony Meo - Professional snooker player
- New Musik - Band
- Stephen K Amos - Comedian
- Clinton Morrison Professional footballer
- Paul Merton - Comedian
- Michael Angelis - Actor
- Snakefinger - Musician
- Gino Rea - Motorcycle racer
- Leroy Rosenior - Professional Football
- Girlschool - Band
- UK Subs - Band
- Tony Selby - Actor
- Dave Clement - Professional Footballer
- Richard Strange - Musician
- Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority.
- Morden, William Edward (1923). The History of Tooting-Graveney: Surrey. ISBN 1-142-75150-3.
- Anglo-Saxon Charters
- Surrey Domesday Book
- Mars Geology: Tooting Crater
- Tfl Guide to Buses from Tooting Broadway
- Tooting Community Website
- Tooting's Best Comedy Night
- Tooting Art - Artists Studios Open to the Public