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 Tāta, 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 ridge is the high ground between the valleys of the Dollis Brook and Folly Brook.
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.
Totteridge was a civil parish of Hertfordshire covering an area of 1,604 acres (6.49 km2) and formed part of a thin protrusion into Middlesex. In 1965, the parish and urban district were abolished by the London Government Act 1963 and the area was transferred from Hertfordshire to Greater London, to become part of the London Borough of Barnet. In 1901 the parish had a population of 844 and by 1951 it had risen to 4,500.
Geography & Landmarks
A map showing Totteridge parish in 1935.
The boundary to the north and east is the Dollis Brook and the boundary to the south is that river’s tributary, the Folly Brook. While these rivers define the area covered by the Residents’ Association, the southern part of the area (with postcode N12 rather than N20) is often regarded as being in Woodside Park.
The main road is the A5109, which runs roughly east-west. The western part is called Totteridge Common, the next part is called Totteridge Village, the central part by the village green is called Totteridge Green, and the eastern part is called Totteridge Lane; the Lane continues into Whetstone, terminating at its junction with High Road, Whetstone (the A1000). At the western end of Totteridge Common is a set of traffic lights; the road to the north from these lights, Hendon Wood Lane, is just to the west of the western boundary.
St. Andrew’s Church stands on the ancient circle site, with a chapel known to be located here from 1250. The rounded boundaries of the churchyard imply an underlying mote and ancient meeting place. The ancient yew tree in the churchyard is about 2,000 years old. The Tithe Barn and the adjacent animal Pound, now both part of the Pound House estate, date from 17th and 16th centuries accordingly. In 1790-1791, during the church renovation, all church services were conducted in the Tithe Barn. The West End House barn and Laurel Farm barn were built in the 17th century and now converted into private houses. Timber framed buildings existing from the Tudor era also include Willow House and Rose Cottage.