One thing I’ve really missed during lockdown is riding the Tube, it’s been over a year since I last had the opportunity, so to try and lessen the desire, I thought I’d take a virtual journey and look at the place names on certain lines.
We’re going to start down in the South on the Northern Line at Morden.
Morden: Listed at Mordone in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and is derived from the Old English Mor – a marsh and Dun – a hill, so the literal meaning would be a marshy hill. The station like all the others on this stretch of the line was opened on the 13th September 1926.
South Wimbledon: It was planned to be opened as Merton Grove, but it was felt that a connection with the better known area of Wimbledon would be beneficial. The derivation of Wimbledon is recorded as Wunemannedunne around 950 AD which comes from the Saxon name Winebeald and dun – a hill, the hill (or place) that Winebeald lived.
Colliers Wood: The area takes it’s name from the Colliers or Charcoal Burners that worked in the area in the 16th century.
Tooting Broadway: The Broadway was once a large open piece of common land, now swallowed up by development.
Tooting Bec: Tooting is recorded as Totinge in 675 AD. From the late 11th century it comprised of two Manorial areas, Upper Tooting and Tooting Bec, the latter owned by the convent of St Mary of Bec in Normandy, France, which is how it got the name. Tooting is thought to be named after the Saxon leader Tota. The Old English ing means “The people that lived at”, so the people that lived at Tota’s encampment. The station opened at the same time as the others on this stretch of line but was called Trinity Road until it was renamed Tooting Bec on 1st October 1950.
Balham: Known as Baelenham in 957 AD. Later it is known as Bealganhamm from the Saxon name Bealga, ham is the Old English for Homestead, so this was the home of Bealga and his family. The station opened slightly later than those to Morden on 6th December 1926.
Clapham South: The name chosen during construction work commenced was Nightingale Lane but by the time the station opened in 1926 it had been decided to use Clapham South.
Clapham Common: The ancient village of Cloppaham stood on the site of the present day Clapham and roughly translates to the “Home on the hill” in Old English. The name Common relates to the common ground where villagers were able to graze their animals. The station opened on 3rd June 1900 and at the time was the end of the line.
Clapham North: Opened on the 3rd June 1900 as Clapham Road and renamed Clapham North on the 13th September 1926.