The place name of Goudhurst is derived from the Old English guo hyrst, meaning Battle Hill, or the wooded hill on which a battle has been fought. The name commemorates a battle fought on this high ground in Saxon times. The church in Goudhurst probably existed long before 1119, its earliest recorded date. The church has been altered and restored many times over the centuries.
In 2007 the Tour de France passed through the village.