The town is situated on the A228 road connecting the Medway Towns with Tonbridge. The M20 motorway junction 4 is 2 miles south of the town allowing good access to London and the Channel Ports. The Snodland by-pass takes heavy commercial traffic away from the town centre (an area commonly referred to as "the village" by residents). The Medway Valley Line between Strood and Maidstone passes through Snodland. There is a railway station; London passengers must change at Strood railway station or at one of the two stations in Maidstone.
Snodland was originally an ancient parish in the Larkfield Hundred of Kent. It was a civil parish in the Malling Rural District from 1894 until 1974. Since 1974 it has been part of the non-metropolitan Tonbridge and Malling District. Snodland had responsibility for the extra parochial area of Paddlesworth.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Paddlesworth from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
The first Roman advance in the conquest of Britain may have crossed the River Medway near Snodland, although there are contending locations. The supposed crossing place is marked by a memorial on the opposite side of the river from Snodland, close to Burham. Near this spot, a ferry later carried pilgrims bound for Canterbury along the Pilgrims' Way.
By the Domesday survey, Snodland and adjoining Halling were owned by the Bishop of Rochester. Bishop Gundulph, at the end of the 11th Century, built a palace at Halling that was used by his successors until the 16th century.
Snodland shows much evidence of industrialisation, particularly chalk extraction. There are long terraces of 19th and 20th century houses.
Lime working had been carried out at Snodland for centuries, but expanded dramatically in the 19th Century, as building boomed. The firm of Poynder and Medlicott began quarrying on the Snodland-Halling border in the early 19th century and the company was taken over by William Lee in 1846. Others followed and the last one was built in 1923 by W L H Roberts at Holborough. Lime for building the Waterloo and new London bridges came from the area.
The paper-making industry came to Snodland around 1740, when the May family built a mill which the Hook family took over in 1854. New manufacturing techniques and the coming of the railway in the 1850s improved paper production from five to 70 tons a week. Snodland's population doubled between 1840 and 1857. After the Medway Valley railway was opened on 18 June 1856, the village trebled in size between 1861 and 1881. The parish boundary was re-aligned in 1898 and again in 1988 to reflect the growth of Snodland, both changes absorbed areas of Birling parish, known locally as "Lower Birling".