Explore Deptford Market Yard’s Rich History

Deptford Market Yard has evolved to become the beating heart of a thriving community. Easy to get to and crammed full of up-and-coming new businesses, it has locals and tourists alike visiting in swathes for everything from vintage clothing to cheap eats and obscure music. Yet the area predates the barely-12-year old market by centuries; a fact that can be easy to forget. If you’re a history buff, there’s plenty to soak your teeth into in these surrounding streets and venues.

 

The Carriage Ramp 

Where: Deptford Train Station, SE8 4BZ

Deptford proudly boasts the oldest railway structure in London, yet it wasn’t until the area’s renovation as part of the Deptford project in 2008 that the grade II listed arches were utilised to their full potential. Once used to store passengers’ horses and carriages, the arches below the carriage ramp are now home to some of the most atmospheric shops, bars and restaurants that surround Deptford Market Yard.

 

Jars Bar London 

Where: Arch 6, 4 Market Yard, SE8 4BX

Of the above businesses operating out of the beautifully restored arches, Jars Bar is possibly where the architecture most deftly accentuates the intimacy of the space. Adorning the walls are rows of ornate alcohol bottles from familiar tipples to home-infused gins and vodkas which take centre stage on its Instagram page. While its integration into the old stone structure is something it shares with its neighbours, it stands out as a shining example of old-meets-new.

 

Little Nan’s Bar 

Where: Arches 13-15, 4 Market Yard, SE8 4BX

Literature lovers may well be familiar with Deptford as the resting place of national treasure Christopher Marlowe, but the events surrounding his death are still shrouded in mystique and mystery. As a result, those looking to retrace his steps and find the bar in which he reportedly suffered a fatal blow may end up pulling their hair out in frustration. However, if you’re just looking for somewhere to spark your imagination, Little Nan’s Bar – also in the arches – should do the trick.

 

Crossfield Street

Where: Crossfield Street, SE8 3PH

Deptford Market Yard’s links to the Renaissance and Victorian era can overshadow the area’s more recent past, but the nearby estate on Crossfield Street is worth a walk around for music fans. Members of Squeeze and Dire Straits – two of the nation’s most cherished bands – supposedly grew up there, so check it out if you’ve memorised more of Up the Junction than Dr Faustus.

 

Tanner’s Hill 

Where: Tanner’s Hill, SE8 4PN

This area’s 17th Century Timber-framed houses are gorgeous examples of the architecture that once dominated Deptford. The timber used came straight from Deptford’s historic docks, and the importance of preserving it clearly hasn’t fallen on deaf ears since the buildings are grade II listed. Where a bicycle shop previously stood is now a home-cum-art gallery which occasionally hosts contemporary art exhibitions.