Haringey History Toolkit

Using the Haringey History Toolkit, you can find out about:

  • What an archive is and why it is important
  • Different kinds of archive material
  • What archives can be used for
  • How to use your local archive at Bruce Castle Museum

The Haringey History Toolkit is in the attached files section towards the bottom of this page. Download your copy and begin to investigate your local history.

Haringey: A brief history

The London Borough of Haringey was created in 1965. It joined up its three predecessor authorities: the borough of Tottenham, the borough of Wood Green and the borough of Hornsey. Each of these areas had grown from country villages with farms and market gardens, to become suburban towns, now part of Greater London. Today, we use the name ‘Haringey’ to cover these three quite distinct areas.

The once rural landscape of Haringey has been developed and shaped by different influences. Over the centuries, good communication links by road through Highgate, Wood Green and Tottenham, and the River Lea (on the Tottenham borders) have maintained connections with the City of London and the busy docks of the River Thames. This gave rise to a thriving agricultural community, helping to feed people in the City of London. By the 18th century, wealthy City merchants had made their home in these districts, attracted by both living in the country and working in the nearby City.

The coming of the railways from 1850 onwards, allowed better transport links and stimulated significant population growth. Affordable housing was built for people moving out from the cramped and poor living conditions of the City to the new suburbs of North London. New work and market opportunities arose, with large-scale industries along the Lea Valley and smaller businesses throughout the borough.

These changes have brought a steady influx of newcomers and new lifestyles over hundreds of years. Some have moved on, others have settled for generations. Haringey today has become a diverse multicultural community of 225,000 residents, with nearly 200 different languages spoken. Over half of the population has come from a culturally diverse background. All have transformed and defined the character of the borough we know today.

Page last updated:

October 10, 2020