Deptford began life as a ford of the Ravensbourne (near Deptford Bridge station) along the route of the Celtic trackway which was later paved by the Romans and developed into the medieval Watling Street. The modern name is a corruption of "deep ford". Deptford was part of the pilgrimage route from London to Canterbury used by the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and is mentioned in the Prologue to the "Reeve's Tale". The ford developed into first a wooden then a stone bridge, and in 1497 saw the Battle of Deptford Bridge, in which rebels from Cornwall, led by Michael An Gof, marched on London protesting against punitive taxes, but were soundly beaten by the King's forces. A second settlement developed as a modest fishing village on the Thames until Henry VIII used that site for a royal dock repairing, building and supplying ships, after which it grew in size and importance, shipbuilding remaining in operation until March 1869. Trinity House, the organisation concerned with the safety of navigation around the British Isles, was formed in Deptford in 1514, with its first Master being Thomas Spert, captain of the Mary Rose. The name "Trinity House" derives from the church of Holy Trinity and St Clement, which adjoined the dockyard.
The station is elevated above both local roads and Deptford Creek, and is adjacent to Lewisham College and Deptford market. The station layout consists of two elevated side platforms which run roughly north-south over the A2 road and parallel to the River Ravensbourne. The station was opened in 1999 as part of the southern extension from Island Gardens to Lewisham. The station was largely reconstructed and considerably enhanced when it was extended to enable it 3-car trains to call at it.
Connections: London Buses routes 47, 53, 177 and 453 and night route N89 serve the station.