Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale, Haringey

A collection of commercial and council estates on the east side of Tottenham, presently undergoing radical redevelopment

Tottenham Lock

There is evi­dence of pre-Nor­man eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty beside the Riv­er Lea and res­i­dents of ‘the Hale’ – mean­ing ‘the nook’ – were record­ed from the late 13th cen­tu­ry, although the first men­tion of Tot­ten­ham Hale did not come until 1754. By this time the set­tle­ment was Tottenham’s largest satel­lite, with sev­er­al dozen dwellings and – on its east­ern edge – the Fer­ry Boat inn. Fol­low­ing the cre­ation of the Lee Nav­i­ga­tion a lock was con­struct­ed at Tot­ten­ham Hale in 1776.

The vil­lage had more than 600 inhab­i­tants in 1840, when the North­ern and East­ern Rail­way arrived and Tot­ten­ham (now Tot­ten­ham Hale) sta­tion was built. The Fer­ry Boat (which had by then been enlarged) cap­i­talised on the local­i­ty’s new-found acces­si­bil­i­ty by open­ing a plea­sure gar­den and fish­ery, which became a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for day trips.

Tot­ten­ham Lock was resit­ed at its present loca­tion (shown in the pho­to­graph above*) in 1845. From the ear­ly 1860s sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment began to con­nect Tot­ten­ham Hale with what is now its par­ent dis­trict and its sep­a­rate exis­tence had been whol­ly lost by the 1890s. Over the same peri­od, the East Lon­don Water­works Com­pa­ny’s reser­voirs sub­merged the mead­ows that had lain to the east and placed a topo­graph­ic bar­ri­er between the Hale and Waltham­stow.

Hidden London: Ferry Boat inn, Walthamstow, by Ewan Munro

Inci­den­tal­ly, unlike the rest of Tot­ten­ham Hale, the Fer­ry Boat inn stands on the left (east) bank of the Riv­er Lea, his­tor­i­cal­ly the bound­ary between Mid­dle­sex and Essex. Writ­ers always placed the Fer­ry Boat “in the parish of Waltham­stow” until a few began to waver fol­low­ing the Post Office’s rule-​​bend­ing inclu­sion of the pub with­in Tottenham’s N17 postal dis­trict. But that was pre­sum­ably just a deliv­ery-​​re­lat­ed con­ve­nience – and what­ev­er its post­code the Fer­ry Boat inn is still locat­ed in Walthamstow’s par­ent bor­ough Waltham For­est, not Tottenham’s Haringey. And it lies with­in the parish of St Andrew, Waltham­stow.

Fac­to­ries were built dur­ing the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry, most­ly between the rail­way line and the riv­er, and Tot­ten­ham Hale became one of the borough’s pri­ma­ry indus­tri­al zones. The best-known employ­er was the Gestet­ner fac­to­ry on Broad Lane, which employed 6,000 staff at the peak of its pro­duc­tion of sten­cil-dupli­cat­ing equip­ment.

From the late 1950s much of Tot­ten­ham Hale was rede­vel­oped with munic­i­pal hous­ing, which was gen­er­al­ly of a high­er archi­tec­tur­al stan­dard than on oth­er estates in the area, for exam­ple at Northum­ber­land Park. The Greater Lon­don Council’s Fer­ry Lane estate of the late 1970s was accom­pa­nied by the open­ing of a new pri­ma­ry school. Dis­used fac­to­ries were sub­se­quent­ly replaced by shed-style ware­hous­ing and the Fer­ry Island and Tot­ten­ham Hale retail parks.

Although a rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle-known des­ti­na­tion, Tot­ten­ham Hale is one of out­er London’s busier sta­tions because it is an inter­change for the line to Stanst­ed air­port. The sta­tion was upgrad­ed at the turn of the mil­len­ni­um but TfL now pro­pos­es exten­sive addi­tion­al improve­ments, to be com­plet­ed by win­ter 2019.

Hidden London: Hale Wharf CGI by Allies and Morrison

Much recon­struc­tion has tak­en place in recent years, most vis­i­bly at Hale Vil­lage, with over 1,100 mixed-tenure res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties and 1,200 rooms for stu­dents, plus ameni­ties and busi­ness­es employ­ing 400 peo­ple. The next major scheme will be Hale Wharf, shown in the CGI above, where around 500 new homes will be squeezed into a slen­der water­side site.

The ward of Tot­ten­ham Hale has an eth­ni­cal­ly diverse pop­u­la­tion, as the 2011 cen­sus data below shows:

Ethnicity/NationalityPop­u­la­tionShare of total
White British2,76618.4%
Black or Black British: African2,37115.7%
Black or Black British: Caribbean1,89312.6%
Turk­ish or Turk­ish Cypri­ot1,1147.4%
Mixed eth­nic­i­ty1,0076.7%
Pol­ish6974.6%
Oth­er East­ern Euro­pean5153.4%
Asian or Asian British: Indi­an4252.8%
Asian or Asian British: Chi­nese3262.2%
All oth­ers3,95026.2%
Postal districts: N17 and N15
Population: 15,064 (2011 census, up from 12,728 in 2001)
Station: London Overground and Victoria Line (zone 3)
* The picture of Tottenham Lock is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, and the picture of the Ferry Boat inn is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Ewan Munro, at Flickr, both made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse of the images is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.