Inglewood is located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) southeast of New Plymouth on State Highway 3, close to Mount Taranaki/Egmont. The town lies 200 metres (660 ft) above sea level. It is a small town servicing a mainly dairy farming region. Although close to New Plymouth, the town has the usual stores and services for town and country.
Inglewood was named by Philip Colin Threkeld for Inglewood Forest in Cumberland, United Kingdom. The settlement was founded in 1873, and its name rapidly progressed from Moatown to Milton, before being renamed to Inglewood in 1875 to avoid confusion with Milton in the South Island.
A number of buildings are listed by Heritage New Zealand. Of those, the Railway Station and Yard is the only one listed as Category I.
The Shoe Store Building on the corner of Rata and Richmond Streets is one of eight listed as Category II.
Inglewood was home to the Moa-Nui Co-operative Dairies factory. In 1992, Moa-Nui merged with Kiwi Co-operative Dairies and processing was centralised at Kiwi's Whareroa factory near Hawera.
Until comparatively recently, the dual chimneys of the factory could be seen from miles away. Inglewood has produced a good share of All Blacks (John Major, Dave "Trapper" Loveridge, Chris Masoe), and also a leading contemporary artist, Michael Stevenson, who represented New Zealand at the 2003 Venice Biennale.
The National Fun Ho! Toy Museum and Factory makes cast metal toys and is located with the town's information centre on the main street (Rata Street, corner of Matai Street). Established by Barry Young, it is now operated by Richard Jordan.
In 2006, Inglewood's only clothing store stopped carrying women's underwear, spurring Anglican Reverend Gary Husband to start a 'knickers-run' to New Plymouth and organized volunteers to help transport those in need on the 20 km trip.