From as early as the Stone Age and Bronze Age, Haringey was at the edge of a huge glacial mass that reached as far south as Muswell Hill during the Last Glacial Maximum.
During the Iron Age and Roman periods, Haringey was home to a Celtic tribe called the Catuvellauni, who controlled lands in Hertfordshire and Middlesex. The Romans' presence is mainly evidenced by the roads they built through the area. Tottenham High Road was part of the main Roman thoroughfare of Ermine Street. The borough was also home to Roman excavations, which suggests a Roman settlement existed there.
After the Saxon invasions, the settlement of “Haeringehaia” was founded, its name coming from the Old English haeringe meaning a “hare meadow”.
Until the 18th century, Haringey was a rural area, but large country houses became increasingly common in the vicinity of London. From the mid-19th century onwards, the railways led to rapid urbanisation; by the turn of the century, much of Haringey had become urbanised.
Historically, Haringey has been a borough of contrast. The land around Highgate and Muswell Hill, at 426.5 feet (130.0 m), fell sharply away to the flat, open low-lying land alongside the River Lea in the east, from 426.5 feet (130.0 m). The Metropolitan Green Belt encompasses 60 hectares within the borough.
There are six other London boroughs that share Haringey's borders. Clockwise from the north, they are: Enfield, Waltham Forest, Hackney, Islington, Camden, and Barnet. This area covers approximately 11 square miles (28.5km2). There are several landmarks in the area, including Alexandra Palace, Bruce Castle, and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Parks, recreation grounds, and open spaces make up more than 25% of Haringey's total area, which is 600 acres (2.4 kilometres). In addition to smaller local areas, they also include large green spaces that provide an amenity for Londoners beyond the borough's borders. Furthermore, the borough contains a number of conservation areas and local nature reserves, as well as five distinct ancient woodlands: Highgate Woods, Queen's Woods, Coldfall Woods, Bluebell Woods, and North Woods.
Twenty-five of the borough's parks have been awarded Green Flag status, meaning they are welcoming, safe, and well-managed.
Finsbury Park, Alexandra Park, Highgate Wood, Coldfall Wood, and Lee Valley Park are among the larger open spaces.