The parish was in the Hundred of Toltingtrough in the Lathe of Aylesford. It has an area of 522 acres.
The name of the parish was "Notestede" in the Domesday Book of 1086, but by the 18th century although formally spelled "Nutsted" it was at this time commonly called Nursted.
Since 1974 it is in the civil parish of Meopham, which is divided into three wards, one of which bears the name "Hook Green and Nurstead". Nurstead has a small 14th-century church, dedicated to St Mildred and this is still the church of the parish, although the benefice is united with Meopham.
The civil parish was abolished in 1935 when it was united with Cobham and in 1963 it was transferred to Meopham.
Nurstead is a small parish, being not quite a mile in extent each way. It lies most of it on high ground, and has a great variety of soils, having in it arable, orchard, and hop ground, and some woodland towards the north boundary of it, next to Northfleet (formerly a parish and then an Urban District; it joins to Meopham southward. In 1797 there were but five houses in it, i.e.. Nurstead Court, Nurstead Hill Farm at the west end of the parish, and Copthall, at the east end, plus two cottages. Between 1811 and 1931 its highest population was 64, reached in 1881.