Towards the end of 1902 , the British were looking to establish their colonial presence in Kenya. Led by Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, of the British Army, they marched a strong military column in the Mount Kenya region on a mission to impose colonialism on the indigenous people. Their mission encountered strong resistance from the indigenous Kikuyu warriors led by Wangobe Wa Ihura. It was during Kenya's fight for independence that the British set up a post close to a little hill called ‘Kia-Nyiri on the slopes of Mt. Kenya on 18 December 1902, giving birth to modern-day Nyeri.
Nyeri played a crucial role in Kenya's independence and is the birthplace of the late Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi and his second in command, General Stanley Mathenge, who resisted British occupation throughout the colonial period culminating in Kenya's independence in 1963.Following a national referendum in August 2010, that dissolved the provincial administration system of Government, Kenya’s new constitution gave birth to Nyeri County.