The line was part of the London and Croydon Railway which opened in 1839. The station was opened on 6 March 1871, although today's buildings are of a modern design: the platforms are only located on the outer, Slow lines, since the station is only served by London Overground trains between Highbury and Islington and West Croydon or Crystal Palace, local trains between London Bridge and Caterham and by the London Bridge to London Victoria loop line via Crystal Palace, plus some London Bridge to Guildford and Dorking in peak times. At the London end the line is crossed by the Nunhead to Lewisham line. At this location adjacent to Brockley station was sited Brockley Lane station which closed in 1917 with the original London, Chatham and Dover Railway branch to Greenwich. The connection of that line to Lewisham is a later development. The name 'Brockley' is derived from either 'Broca's woodland clearing', or a wood where badgers are seen (broc is the Old English for badger),or Brook (Stream)by a wood (Ley) . Formerly part of the county of Kent, Brockley become a part of the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford in the County of London in 1889, and subsequently was brought into the London Borough of Lewisham with the creation of Greater London in 1965. Brockley has its origins in a small agricultural hamlet of the same name located in the area of the 'Brockley Jack' (rebuilt 1895), a large Victorian public house that today houses the Brockley Jack Theatre.
Brockley market gardens were famous for their enormous Victoria rhubarb which were fertilised by 'night soil' from London. There were orchards too and some ancient fruit trees survive in local gardens. Until the late 19th century a small river flowed northward from Crofton Park and east of Malpas Rd to join the River Thames via Deptford Creek. It is now covered over. Industrial development arrived in 1809 in the form of the Croydon Canal running from Croydon to Bermondsey. This was later filled in and replaced by the London & Croydon railway which runs through the original canal cutting between Brockley and New Cross Gate stations. The possibility of opening platforms on this line with direct access to Victoria Station and the Bexleyheath Line to Dartford has often been suggested but is currently low on TfL's priorities. Crofton Park, on the Blackfriars to Sevenoaks line, and which also runs from Nunhead, is a mile to the south. Neither of these other lines has a physical connection with Brockley station, despite the trains running over the station. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and has wi-fi, help points, a bridge and boarding ramps but no toilets.
Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 171, 172 and 484 and night route N171 serve the station.