The station was opened on 1 May 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop). As a consequence of the 1921 Railways Act, the GER was merged with other railway companies in 1923 to become part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). Electric Underground trains served the station from 21 November 1948. the name means 'Cicca's well', Cicca being an Anglo-Saxon personal name. In medieval sources the name appears with a wide variety of spellings including "Cinghe uuella" and Chikewelle". Folk etymology has sought to derive the name from a lost 'king's well', supposed to have been to the south-east of the parish near the border of what is now the London Borough of Redbridge. Traditionally a rural farming community, but now largely suburban, Chigwell was mentioned in the Domesday Book and later lauded by Charles Dickens in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty; the Maypole Inn is based on the King's Head inn, though the name was taken from the Maypole public house in Chigwell Row; and it is likely Dickens visited both hostelries.
It is normally quicker to travel to Woodford and change there, as trains to central London run more frequently from that point. At the buildup to the peak periods, some trains starting from Hainault depot operate to central London via Grange Hill, Chigwell, Roding Valley and Woodford. Since 5 February 2006 this has been one of the small number of stations on the network to have no staffed ticket office; however staff are available 24 hours a day for customer information. The station has payphones and toilets.
Connections: London Bus routes 167 and school routes 667 serve the station. Local Bus route 804 and Local School route 53 also serve the station.