The smaller settlements of Sissinghurst, Swattenden, Colliers Green and Hartley lie within the civil parish. The place name Cranbrook derives from Old English cran broc, meaning Crane Marsh, marshy ground frequented by cranes (although more probably herons).Spelling of the place name has evolved over the centuries from Cranebroca (c.The focus then switched to a £2m building planned on Wilkes Field, next to the Co-op carpark.
Baker's Cross is on the eastern outskirts of the town.
Baker's Cross on the eastern edge of the town is linked to John Baker, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Mary, a Catholic.
Legend holds that he was riding on his way to Cranbrook in order to have two local Protestants executed, when he turned back after the news reached him that Queen Mary was dead.
Edward III brought over Flemish weavers to develop the Wealden cloth industry using wool from Romney Marsh; Cranbrook became the centre of this as it had local supplies of fuller's earth and plenty of streams that could be dammed to drive the fulling mills.
Iron-making was carried on at Bedgebury on the River Teise, an industry which dates back to Roman times.