Sustained activity at most central synapses is accompanied by a number of short-term changes in synaptic strength which act over a range of time scales. Here we examine experimental data and develop a model of synaptic depression at the calyx of Held synaptic terminal that combines many of these mechanisms (acting at differing sites and across a range of time scales). This new model incorporates vesicle recycling, facilitation, activity-dependent vesicle retrieval and multiple mechanisms affecting calcium channel activity and release probability. It can accurately reproduce the time course of experimentally measured short-term depression across different stimulus frequencies and exhibits a slow decay in EPSC amplitude during sustained stimulation. We show that the slow decay is a consequence of vesicle release inhibition by multiple mechanisms and is accompanied by a partial recovery of the releasable vesicle pool. This prediction is supported by patch-clamp data, using long duration repetitive EPSC stimulation at up to 400 Hz. The model also explains the recovery from depression in terms of interaction between these multiple processes, which together generate a stimulus-history-dependent recovery after repetitive stimulation. Given the high rates of spontaneous activity in the auditory pathway, the model also demonstrates how these multiple interactions cause chronic synaptic depression under in vivo conditions. While the magnitude of the depression converges to the same steady state for a given frequency, the time courses of onset and recovery are faster in the presence of spontaneous activity. We conclude that interactions between multiple sources of short-term plasticity can account for the complex kinetics during high frequency stimulation and cause stimulus-history-dependent recovery at this relay synapse.