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Kimbolton is the largest centre in the former Kiwitea county. This occupied the north-west part of Manawatū, between the Rangitīkei and Ōroua rivers. It is mostly rolling country. The fertile flat land on the Cheltenham–Kimbolton highway is called Ram Alley because of the number of pedigree sheep raised there. In earlier times the district was thickly forested, and only occasionally visited by Māori. The Crown purchased the land in 1866 and 1877. Beaconsfield was opened for settlement in 1876, Rewa and Waituna West from 1880, and Kimbolton (initially called Birmingham), Ōtamakapua and Rangiwāhia from 1886.
Meaning of place name
Although Kimbolton was not part of the nearby Manchester Block, a natural association resulted in it being named after the country seat of the Duke of Manchester. It became Kimbolton in 1899 after previously being known as Birmingham and Fowlers.