Totteridge, Barnet

A lovely (but inevitably pricey) ribbon village strung along the road from Whetstone to Highwood Hill and set amidst farmland, parks and golf courses

Orange Tree - Totteridge

This place was first record­ed as Taderege in the 12th cen­tu­ry. Opin­ions dif­fer on the deriva­tion of the first part of the name: most experts now pro­pose an asso­ci­a­tion with a man called Tōta, but oth­ers have sug­gest­ed that ‘tot’ meant either a height or a place of wor­ship. The ‘ridge’ part is undis­put­ed: Tot­teridge sits on a crest that ris­es well above 400 feet.

The land here was part of the Bish­op of Ely’s medieval estate at Hat­field in Hert­ford­shire. The church of St Ethel­dre­da was men­tioned in a doc­u­ment of 1250. It is said that the Edward I vis­it­ed in 1305 and the bish­op had a house and chapel here by 1357, on the site of the present Tot­teridge Park. The church was rebuilt in 1790, by which time it had become St Andrew’s, and its church­yard has a yew tree that may be more than thou­sand years old.

Sev­er­al struc­tures sur­vive from the late 17th and ear­ly 18th cen­turies, most­ly farm out­build­ings. The old­est man­sion is Tot­teridge Park, built in 1750 but remod­elled in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. The renowned archi­tect R Nor­man Shaw was respon­si­ble for Ellern Mede in 1877. Shaw’s plans for the house’s inte­ri­or are now with the Roy­al Acad­e­my.

Totteridge’s oth­er man­sions are most­ly recent cre­ations, as the vil­lage has become a haven for busi­ness and media moguls who wish to retreat behind high walls and secu­ri­ty gates. Since the ear­ly 1990s more than a dozen sev­en-fig­ure prop­er­ties have been built, and there would have been more had it not been for green-belt restric­tions.

Tot­teridge Vil­lage has all the rur­al essen­tials: shops, pri­ma­ry school, crick­et club, vil­lage hall and the Orange Tree pub­lic house, shown in the pho­to­graph above.

North of the vil­lage, the Raven­scroft sec­ondary school opened in 1954, hav­ing evolved out of what is now Foulds school in Bar­net. It became the Tot­teridge Acad­e­my in 2011 and its pupils come from a broad catch­ment area.

To the west, Tot­teridge Fields are ancient hay mead­ows man­aged by the Lon­don Wildlife Trust.

The Tot­teridge ward has a large Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, and res­i­dents tend to be mar­ried, mid­dle-aged home­own­ers, often with depen­dent chil­dren.

Postal district: N20
Population: 15,159 (2011 census)
Station: Northern line (Totteridge and Whetstone, zone 4)
Further reading: Pamela Taylor and Joanna Corden, Barnet, Edgware, Hadley and Totteridge: A Pictorial History, Phillimore, 1994