The small township of Cheltenham and the surrounding countryside is very beautiful, with hills and plains coming together to form a fertile rural area. Cheltenham marks a key route intersection, with travellers heading north taking either the ”˜Vinegar Hill’ route to state highway 1 or the Kimbolton Rd which leads on to the northern Manawatu districts of Kiwitea, Kimbolton, Apiti and Rangiwahia.
The village of Cheltenham marks the edge of the Manchester Block, the area of land which was bought by the Emigrant and Colonists’ Aid Corporation for its emigration scheme in the 1870s.
The building of Kimbolton Road north from Feilding was a top priority for the first European settlers to come to the Manchester Block, both to provide a way to get timber down to the railway for transporting out of the district to be sold, and because there were many hundreds of acres of bush-covered land beyond the Manchester Block that would be available for sale once there was access.
Cheltenham became an important coaching stop for the mail and passenger services that quickly got established once land at Kiwitea, Kimbolton, Rangiwahia and Apiti was sold for European settlement.
The wide grass verge on Kimbolton Road between Feilding and Cheltenham not only accommodated a bush tramway for the local timber mills — it is also evidence of early hopes that the North Island Main Trunk Railway Line might take this route.
Manawatu District Council. Ph 06 323 0000
Liaison Councillor — Prue McBeth, ph 06 328 5839