White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane, Haringey

A thoroughfare winding between the High Roads of Tottenham and Wood Green, best known as the (nearby) home of Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League football club

Spurs new stadium

The road was in existence by 1619, when its western part was called Apeland Street. The White Hart inn stood on the east side of the High Road and was used for court sessions in the 1650s. Some very grand country retreats were built along the lane in the 17th and 18th centuries but settlement remained sparse until around 1810, when suburban villas gradually began to spread westward from Tottenham High Road.

White Hart Lane station opened on the Great Eastern Railway in 1872 and its vicinity soon took on a more urban character. The London County Council subsequently bought land between White Hart Lane and Lordship Lane for one of its first ‘out-of-town cottage estates’ – for more on this, see the page on Tower Gardens.

In the 1890s the White Hart’s landlord set up a nursery on the fertile soil behind the inn, but within a few years the newly profes­sional Tottenham Hotspur football club sought to move the short distance here from its previous home. Originally Hotspur FC, and formed from an older cricket club in 1882, the club became Tottenham Hotspur two years later. Most of the founders were old boys of St John’s Presbyterian school and Tottenham grammar school.

In the days before the stadium became all seated (in 1994) the ground witnessed some huge attend­ances – most notably in the 1948-9 season, when the record gate of 75,038 was achieved for a match against Sunderland. The ground’s present capacity is 36,284.

The club plans to build a new stadium in a scheme that’s codenamed the Northumberland Development Project because the site borders the avenue called Northumberland Park, which in turn is so called from the former ownership of the land there­abouts by the dukes of Northumberland. The (delib­er­ately) cumbersome and forget­table project name will later be dropped when a corporate sponsor comes up with an acceptable offer for the new stadium’s naming rights.

The original plans were revised in July 2015, increasing the stadium’s proposed capacity to 61,000 and featuring a natural turf pitch that will retract to reveal an NFL-compliant surface, which will host at least two American football games a year. The seating bowl has been recon­figured “to enhance the fan exper­ience” and the pièce de résistance will be the 17,000-capacity south stand – the largest single-tier stand in the UK.

CGI view of Spurs' new stadium
CGI view of Spurs’ new stadium

Other aspects of the stadium and its surroundings include:

  • A visitors’ centre with an inter­active museum, cinema, club megastore, ticket office and café
  • An enhanced public open space, comparable in area to Trafalgar Square, with a multi-use games area
  • A 180-bedroom hotel with 49 serviced apart­ments on the upper floors
  • A new building to host extreme sports, including the world’s highest indoor climbing wall
  • A ‘Sky Walk exper­ience’ that involves walking on top of the stadium
  • 579 new homes in four blocks, including affordable housing
  • A new community health centre

In addition, the 27-acre High Road West scheme will bring another 1,400 new homes to the zone either side of the eastern end of White Hart Lane, plus a library and park. However, a number of existing properties will be demol­ished, including homes on the Love Lane estate.

Shown in the archi­tects’ CGI images above, the new stadium is expected to open in August 2018, after the club has played away from home for the previous season.

Haringey Borough FC play on artificial turf at the Coles Park stadium, just over a mile west of Spurs’ ground. Coles Park is almost at the centre of the map below (click for a Bing bird’s eye view).

Postcode areas: N17 and N22
Population: 13,431 (2011 census)
Station: London Overground (zone 3)
Mike Donovan, Glory, Glory Lane: The Extraordinary History of Tottenham Hotspur’s Home for 118 Years, Pitch Publishing, 2017
Microsite: Spurs’ new stadium