In 1513, King Henry VIII decided to site a naval dockyard at Deptford, and this remained in operation until March 1869. It was here that Russian Tsar Peter the Great studied shipbuilding for three months in 1698.
Diarist John Evelyn lived in Deptford at Sayes Court from 1652 (Peter the Great was a tenant there after Evelyn had moved to Surrey in 1694; in its grounds was a cottage at one time rented by master wood carver Grinling Gibbons). Part of the estates around the house were purchased in 1742 for the building of the Admiralty Victualling Yard, later (1858) renamed the Royal Victoria Yard. This massive facility included warehouses, a bakery, a cattleyard and sugar stores. It closed in 1960.
Its railway station is one of the oldest suburban stations in the world, being built (c.1836-38) as part of the first suburban service (the London and Greenwich Railway), between London Bridge and Greenwich. Close to Deptford Creek is a Victorian pumping station built in 1864, part of the massive London sewer scheme designed by civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
St Nicholas Church, the parish church, dates back to the 14th century but the current building is 17th century. A plaque on the north wall commemorates playwright Christopher Marlowe, murdered in a nearby tavern on - according to the church's own records - 1 June 1593.
Nearest railway stations: