The station was opened by the District Railway (DR, now the District line) on 3 June 1889 on an extension from Putney Bridge station to Wimbledon. The extension was built by the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) which, starting on 1 July 1889, ran its own trains over the line via an eastward-facing loop that joins the Clapham Junction to Barnes mainline. The section of the District line from Putney Bridge to Wimbledon was the last part of the line to be converted from steam operation to electric. Electric trains began running on 27 August 1905. Mainline services through East Putney were ended by the Southern Railway (successor to the L&SWR) on 4 May 1941, although the line remained in British Rail ownership until 1 April 1994 when it was sold to London Underground for the nominal sum of £1. Until the sale, the station was branded as a British Rail station.
The isolated National Rail platform is disused and overgrown, but the National Rail platform on the central island is in working order. Although it is not served by regular trains it is very occasionally used for terminating services from Wimbledon in connection with engineering works. A barrier has been built on the central island platform across the part of the platform that forks off to the north-east and forms the right arm of the Y. The station has four staircases. The one to the disused National Rail platform is not accessible to the public, but the two up to the island platform are both in service. It is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Travelcard Zone 3. The station has wi-fi, payphones and a waiting room. There is a building in front of the entrance which lends the station the look of an old Chinese Taoist temple.
Connections: London Buses routes 37 and 337 serve the station.