"Peckham" is a Saxon place name. It means the village of the River Peck. This is a small stream which ran openly through the district, but was closed over in 1823. Archaeological evidence indicates earlier Roman occupation in the area, although the name of this settlement is lost.
Peckham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Pecheham. It was held by the Bishop of Lisieux from Odo of Bayeux.
Peckham has a large ethnically diverse public housing estate. It a "deprived area".