Tottenham is one of north London's better known districts, predominantly because of its successful football club Tottenham Hotspurs.
The area has been settled since at least Saxon times and the name is believed to be derived from the Saxon meaning "Totta's Village".
During this period, and for hundreds of years after, the area was thickly forested and so was sparsely populated. But by the late 17th century much of Tottenham had been cleared for farmland.
Nevertheless the area remained sparsely populated with only a few hamlets and fewer manor houses. It was only in the 19th century that the area began to be settled in earnest, the spur being the opening of the Enfield to Liverpool Street railway in the 1870s.
The railway cut through the heart of the district and houses soon followed. But unlike some of Tottenham's neighbours the housing was working class and so the area soon got a reputation for poverty and as a slum area.
And unlike some of north London's predominantly residential areas, Tottenham also became fairly industrialised. This has left its mark on the district, for many areas of Tottenham still retain a very run-down, industrialised feel.
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