The area was originally known as Hatcham (the name persists in the title of the Anglican parishes of St. James, Hatcham along with its school, and All Saints, Hatcham Park). The earliest reference to Hatcham is the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hacheham. It was held by the Bishop of Lisieux from the Bishop of Bayeux (he commissioned the tapestry). According to the entry in the Domesday Book Hatcham's assets were: 3 hides; 3 ploughs, 6 acres (24,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 3 hog and rendered £2. New Cross is believed to have taken its name from a coaching house originally known as the Golden Cross, which stood close to the current New Cross House pub. The diarist John Evelyn, who lived in Deptford, wrote in 1675 that he met a friend at 'New Crosse' in his coach before travelling down through Kent and on to France. In the later 19th century, the area became known as the New Cross Tangle on account of its numerous railway lines, workshops and two stations — both originally called New Cross (one was later renamed New Cross Gate). In the early Victorian railway boom two companies constructed lines through the area. The London and Croydon Railway (L&CR) built a station on the New Cross Road close to Hatcham in 1839. In 1849 the South Eastern Railway (SER) put its station about 600 metres further east along the New Cross Road in the heart of New Cross. Both stations were named "New Cross", creating a confusion which lasted until the two companies were absorbed under the 1923 grouping into the Southern Railway and the name of the older station was changed to New Cross Gate; the ex-South Eastern station remained New Cross.
The station was rebuilt in the 1970s. The original station buildings on the road bridge were replaced by the present buildings at the side. Platforms on the down and fast lines were closed and demolished. A new track layout was introduced at this time. London Underground used to serve this station as the southern terminus to their East London Line. This closed on 22 December 2007 for major engineering work to convert the East London Line to standard 750 V third rail electrification. The line reopened on 27 April 2010 with services now operated by London Overground using new Class 378 Capitalstar units. Ticket barriers were installed to all platforms in time for the London Overground services to commence. The platforms are lettered rather than numbered to avoid confusion with those at New Cross Gate by staff who work at both stations. Platform D is used exclusively by London Overground services. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and has boarding ramps but no toilets.
Connections: National Rail. London Buses routes 53, 177, 225 and 453 serve the station.