Tooting is the district of south-west London that lies on the outskirts of the city between Wimbledon and Streatham. The area has been settled since Saxon times, and it is believed that the name dates from this period and means "the dwelling of the sons of Totas".
For much of its history Tooting was a rural district, fairly cut off from London. Then in the 18th century, as in surrounding areas, Tooting gradually became a popular country residence for some of London's wealthy citizens.
Several large mansions were built in the area and so the population of Tooting slowly expanded. Tooting continued to develop over the next 100 years or so, and by the early 19th century lots of elegant villas had been built in the district.
Nevertheless, the population of Tooting was nowhere near that of neighbouring districts, and so the area retained a rural feel for much longer than other south London districts.
It wasn't until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Tooting was transformed into the typical residential suburb that it is today. As a result, although there are lots of sprawling housing estates, Tooting has retained many more open areas than many other parts of outer London making it a fairly pleasant suburb.
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