The town includes a small parade of shops, as well as part of the industrial estate on Cray Avenue that connects to its sister St Mary Cray. The former Broomwood pub is now a McDonald's and lies on the main road. Like St Mary Cray, St Paul's Cray is home to a large ex-traveller community as well as many descendants of Irish travellers who moved south from Bermondsey after the docks shut. The local football team, Cray Wanderers F.C., is one of the oldest football clubs in the world. Cray Wanderers are set to return to the area by 2014, at Sandy Lane.
The area was known in the 16th century as Paul Crey. William Camden born in 1551 writes in a 1610 travel guide in a section on Kent: "Here the riverlet Crey, anciently called Crecan , intermingleth it selfe with Darent, ? when in his short course he hath imparted his name to five townlets which hee watereth,as Saint Marie Crey, Pauls Crey, Votes-Crey, North Crey,? and Crey-ford in former ages Crecanford, where Hengest the Saxon, the eighth yeare after his arrivall, joyned battaile with the Britans, and after hee had slaine their captaines brought them under with so great a slaughter that afterwards hee never stood in feare of them, but established his kingdome quietly in Kent."