Forged on the city’s great industrial heritage, Deptford has emerged in recent years as one of the fastest-growing regeneration and foodie hotspots of London. It has a high street brimming with independently run shops, restaurants and microbreweries.
A short history
The name comes from “deep ford’ which crossed what is now Deptford Creek, at the mouth of the River Ravensbourne. It was here that Henry VIII founded a naval dockyard in 1513. Within 100 years it had become one of the country’s most significant ports from which important figures in Britain’s maritime history set off on their journeys, the most famous of which was Sir Francis Drake.
The southern part was laid out from 1805 and was called Deptford New Town. The dockyard closed in 1869 and following bomb damage during the Second World War and industrial decline, the area suffered from neglect. However, since the millennium, there’s been a considerable turn around in the fortunes of the area which has been the focus of extensive rebuilding, especially along the Thames waterfront and around Deptford Bridge. Trinity Laban’s faculty of dance opened at Deptford Creekside in 2002 and has attracted a vibrant creative community.
Green spaces and going out
While there are lots of smaller green areas, Deptford Park is one of the largest. Originally a market garden belonging to the Evelyn family estate, it was bought by the council in 1884 and covers 17 acres. Folkestone Gardens has a small cafe/restaurant as well as a playground and skate park.
Deptford High Street, with its famous anchor, runs for over a quarter of a mile. Lots of new bars and restaurants have opened in Market Yard and there is a community run cinema. The Albany and Deptford Lounge host live music and arts events.
London Bridge is 5 mins from New Cross station (from where the Overground travels to Shoreditch) and 7 mins from Deptford. The DLR to Heron Quays (for Canary Wharf) takes 11 mins from Deptford Bridge station.
Did you know?
The rock band Dire Straits was founded in Deptford in 1977.