The village is clustered together along the south slope and at the foot of the end of a tall escarpment by the River Rother, six miles (6.4 km) south-west of Tenterden on the A28. Newenden is located immediately north of the Rother which forms the county boundary with East Sussex.The humpback bridge of 1736 has recently been repaired. As the land at the very edge of the parish and lowest points is marshy, the narrow hill escarpment itself is known locally as Frogs Hill.
Lossenham Friary was established northeast of the village in around 1242 but it was burnt down in 1275 and no remains are visible.
On Thursday, 10 March 1300 (Julian calendar), wardrobe accounts of King Edward I of England include a reference to a game called "creag" being played at Newenden by Prince Edward (the future Prince of Wales), then aged 15. Although the word "creag" is probably a variation of "craic", a Gaelic word which was part of Middle English and means "fun and games in general", it has been suggested that creag was an early form of cricket. There is, however, no evidence to support that view and "creag" was probably something quite different, like craic.