Before the 19th century, the heart of Sydenham was around what is now known as Wells Park, an area that became popular after the discovery of a collection of medicinal springs in the mid-1600s. Its development as a suburb began when the London and Croydon Railway arrived in the late 1830s, following the route of the filled-in Croydon Canal. Sydenham Station opened in 1839, and the area flooded with wealthy commuters as quality development sprang up near the station - a process that accelerated when the Crystal Palace exhibition hall was relocated to a hill above Sydenham in 1854.
The station itself is in Zone 3, and is served by London Overground and Southern, ferrying local commuters to London Bridge, London Victoria and Highbury & Islington. The station is perfectly placed right on Sydenham High Street where visitors will find many independent stores including a bookshop, organic grocery, butchers and bakery, as well as popular chain stores.