The station was opened on 18 December 1890 as part of the first deep-level tube railway, the City and South London Railway (C&SLR), and was rebuilt in the 1920s when the tunnels were enlarged. During the Second World War, parts of the disused tunnels between Borough and the south side of the River Thames were adapted into a large public air-raid shelter by Southwark Borough Council. The shelter had six entrances along Borough High Street; it opened on 24 June 1940 and closed on 7 May 1945. A plaque at the station records this.
Borough station has level access to the northbound platform from the lifts, making this platform accessible to those with mobility restrictions. The southbound platform is a floor lower down, accessible only by narrow stairs; the original architectural finishes to this have been obscured by modern station infrastructure, but the original appearance would have been comparable with those still visible on the southbound platform at Kennington.
Connections:London Buses routes 21, 35, 40, 133, 343 and C10 and night routes N21, N35, N133 and N343 serve the station.