Tooting is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is situated south south-west of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.
Tooting has been settled since pre-Saxon times. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin but the meaning is disputed. It could mean the people of Tota where Tota may have been a local Anglo-Saxon chieftain. Alternatively it could be derived from an old meaning of the verb to tout, to look out. There may have been a watchtower here on the road to London and hence the people of the look-out post.
The Romans built a road, which was later named Stane Street by the English, from London (Londinium) to Chichester (Noviomagus Regnorum), and which passed through Tooting. Tooting High Street is built on this road. In Saxon times, Tooting and Streatham (then Toting-cum-Stretham) was given to the Abbey of Chertsey. Later, Suene (Sweyn), believed to be a Viking, may have been given all or part of the land. In 933, King Athelstan of England is thought to have confirmed lands including Totinge (Tooting) to Chertsey Abbey.
Tooting appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Totinges. Lower Tooting was held from Chertsey Abbey by Haimo the Sheriff (of Kent). Its domesday assets were 1 church, 2½ ploughs, of meadow. It rendered £4. Later in the Norman period it came into the possession of the De Gravenel family, after whom it was named Tooting Graveney. Upper Tooting, or Tooting Bec (historically part of Streatham), appears as a distinct area and was held by the Abbey of Hellouin Bec, in Normandy, thus acquiring the "Bec" in its name. Its domesday assets were 5 hides. It had 5½ ploughs, . It rendered £7.
As with many of South London's suburbs, Tooting developed during the late Victorian period. Some development occurred in the Edwardian era but another large spurt in growth happened during the 1920s and '30s.