History of Deptford


Deptford was once the scene of some of the most fascinating chapters and characters in London’s history. With a proud industrial past and playing a pivotal role within the shipbuilding industry, kings, queens, tsars and literary legends helped shape Deptford’s authenticity and creativity of today.
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King Henry III

Recognising Deptford’s proximity to the City, King Henry VIII made Deptford's Thames frontage the spot for the Royal Dockyard which saw the British navy grow in strength. The ‘King’s Yard’ built and maintained warships for 350 years and was also home to both the Royal Navy and East India Company.
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St Nicholas' Church

In existence since the 12th century, the church blessed Captain James Cook ahead of his voyage. Additionally, a plaque in the grounds marks Christopher Marlowe’s resting place.
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Master Shipwright’s House

This listed building overlooking the Thames is often used for period film sets and is occasionally open to the public during London’s Open House weekend
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Samuel Pepys

A naval administrator, an MP and a regular visitor to Deptford, famous for the personal diary he kept for 10 years capturing the Stuart period in London, documenting eye witness accounts of events such as the Great Fire of London