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 old ground’s capacity in its latter days was 36,284.

Since 2019 the club has had a new stadium, built as part of a scheme that was 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 pièce de résis­tance is the stadium’s 17,500-seat south stand – the largest single-tier stand in the UK.

Other aspects of the Northum­ber­land Devel­op­ment Project were orig­i­nally proposed to 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

Several of these features have yet to make an appear­ance. In February 2023 the club announced: “The Northum­ber­land Devel­op­ment Project is now substan­tially complete with Lilywhite House and the opening of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. There are a number of projects at the southern end of the site (hotel and resi­den­tial) which will be ulti­mately developed when appro­priate” – from which it may be inferred that the project’s final form may be quite different from the original proposals.

Hidden London: CGI of the High Road West masterplan

In addition, the 27-acre High Road West scheme will bring another 2,500 new homes to the zone either side of the eastern end of White Hart Lane, plus a library and a small park. However, a number of existing prop­er­ties will be demol­ished, including homes on the Love Lane estate. An early CGI of the High Road West master­plan is shown above – but the final scheme is likely to rise higher.

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
Website section: Spurs’ new stadium


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