The station was opened on 25 August 1862 by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) as Clapham, renamed Clapham & North Stockwell from May 1863. The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) route (current Atlantic Line, often referred to by its old name of South London Line) was authorized by an 1863 Act of Parliament and parallels the original 1862 LCDR route eastwards between Wandsworth Road and Brixton and beyond. Until the 1923 grouping all lines through this station were owned by the LCDR, with two leased to the LBSCR for their sole use. The original 'south' 1862 line was leased to the LBSCR in 1867 and the LCDR used the new 'north' 1867 lines. Hence the existing platforms, together with the Grade 2 listed 1862 station building, form the original station. These platforms were used by the LCDR from 1862 to 1867, and the LBSCR until the 1923 grouping. The 1867 LCDR platforms were closed in April 1916 and subsequently demolished. The eastbound platform's station building was destroyed by a bomb in 1944. The LCDR 1866 station building (on the north side) was partially demolished in 1924 after the 1916 closure, finally being demolished in the late 1970s. In British Rail days, access to the platforms was via a subway on the north side. The original south 1862 building was sold, being initially used as a furniture warehouse before being redeveloped in 2003 as residential accommodation. It is now Grade 2 listed. The platform had a full-length canopy that was demolished in the late 1970s. The line between London Victoria and London Bridge was electrified at 6600 V AC on the overhead system on 1 December 1909. It was re-electrified in 1928 using third rail 660 V DC and the overhead was dismantled. In the 1950s it was renamed Clapham before receiving its current name in 1989 to avoid confusion with Clapham Junction.
In 2012 Southern refurbished the eastbound platform, erecting a new fence and repaving the surface. In late 2012, London Overground erected new waiting shelters and station name signs. Until 8 December 2012 Clapham High Street was served by a twice-hourly Southern service between London Victoria and London Bridge. From 9 December 2012, London Overground services began operating between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, completing the orbital route around London. As a result, all Southern services were withdrawn and replaced with London Overground services, with four trains calling per hour. Until December 2012 Southern also ran a service from Kensington (Olympia) to Clapham High Street but this has now been cut back to Wandsworth Road from Kensington Olympia. From 9 December 2013 there has been a late night shuttle Overground service from Battersea Park to Clapham High Street. This service was requested by local Clapham Transport Users Group as a way of improving Battersea/Clapham connections. It is close to Clapham North underground station and interchange is counted as an Out of Station Interchange on Oyster, so journeys involving a change between the two are charged as through journeys and not two separate journeys. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and has help points, wi-fi and a waiting room but no toilets.
Connections: National Rail. Northern Line (at Clapham North). London Buses routes 50, 88, 155, 322, 345 and P5 and night route N155 serve the station.