It is most likely to have been founded (the place, not the DLR station) by a pagan Jute, Leof, who settled (by burning his boat) near St Mary's Church (Ladywell) where the ground was drier, in the 6th century. Daniel Lysons (1796) wrote: "In the most ancient Saxon records this place is called Levesham, that is, the house among the meadows; leswe, læs, læse, or læsew, in the Saxon, signifies a meadow, and ham, a dwelling..." "Leofshema" was an important settlement at the confluence of the rivers Quaggy (from Farnborough) and Ravensbourne (Caesar's Well, Keston), so the village expanded north into the wetter area as drainage techniques improved. King Alfred was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham as is celebrated by a plaque in Lewisham Library. The Manor of Lewisham was given, with its appendages of Greenwich and Combe, by Elthruda, King Alfred's niece, to the abbey of St. Peter at Ghent, to which Lewisham then became a cell, or alien priory; which grant is said to have been confirmed by King Edgar in 964, and by Edward the Confessor in 1044, with the addition of many privileges.
There are four platforms for main-line trains: 1 and 2 on the North Kent Line, and 3 and 4 on a loop off the South Eastern Main Line (which are also known as the mid-Kent route). The former opened on 30 July 1849, the latter on 1 January 1857. The present station opened in 1857, when the Mid Kent line was added. In 1929 large-scale remodelling of the junction was undertaken to enable cross-London freight traffic to be routed via Nunhead and Loughborough Junction. The new route utilised part of the former Greenwich Park branch and included a flyover. Some trains heading to/from London use the flyover and then descend via Tanners Hill Junction to rejoin the main line, using a reversible line which opened in 1976. This junction was further developed in 2012. Platforms 5 and 6 are served by Docklands Light Railway trains to Bank and Stratford. The Docklands Light Railway station opened in 1999 following a southward extension from Island Gardens.The Railway Station was built to enable interchange between the north Kent and mid Kent lines. The 1857 station is made of yellow stock brick with stone dressing and has an unusual survival of a wooden clapboard building at the back.The facade has a pleasing symmetry of three windows, three entrance doors, three windows. Sadly this is currently obscured by the placement of information screens and wiring.
Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 21, 47, 75, 89, 108, 136, 178, 180, 181, 185, 199, 208, 225, 261, 273, 284, 321, 380, 436, 484, P4 and 621 and night routes N21, N89, N136 and N199 serve the station.