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.

The club is now close to com­plet­ing 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 2015, increas­ing the sta­di­um’s pro­posed capac­i­ty to 61,000 and recon­fig­ur­ing the seat­ing bowl “to enhance the fan expe­ri­ence”. The capac­i­ty was ulti­mate­ly increased again – to 62,062, which is more than any oth­er club sta­di­um in Lon­don, although West Ham Unit­ed’s Lon­don Sta­di­um could hold more if per­mit­ted. The pièce de résis­tance is the 17,500-seat south stand – the largest sin­gle-tier stand in the UK.

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

Fol­low­ing a delay of sev­er­al months, caused by var­i­ous teething prob­lems, Spurs played their inau­gur­al match at the new sta­di­um on 3 April 2019, defeat­ing Crys­tal Palace 2–0.

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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