Nettleham Village Trail

Image of the nettleham village trail

Welcome to our village

Originally a small rural community. Nettleham is understandably a very popular place in which to live, and as a result a number of housing developments have taken place over recent years on the perimeter of the village.

Nevertheless its rural character has been carefully preserved in the older centre of the village which now lies largely within a designated Conservation Area. A strong sense of community also remains evident today in the many social activities and events which continue throughout the year.

We would be pleased for you to take a stroll around the village and by reading this publication as you go your enjoyment of its many charms may thus be enhanced. The complete trail will take about 70 minutes at a gentle walking pace.

The Nettleham Village Trail

The Village Green (1) really does form the centre of the village - both geographically and socially. Alongside the Green is the Stable Yard (2), with the Barn converted into flats. Behind the yard was a large farmyard including an exercise ring for horses. During the first war some thousands of horses were sold here by auction for service in the army. On the edge of the Green, opposite the telephone box, stands Bill Bailey's house. He was a prominent citizen of Nettleham in the early 1900's and one of his descendants, Miss Jenifer Jackson, donated the first of the village playing fields in 1946, in memory of William Bailey and of her fiancée Wilfred De Beurier killed in action a few days before marriage to Miss Jackson. The field is known as Bill Bailey's. The house carries the concrete plaque WB 1884 the year of building the house. (No.9. The Green) (3)

Past the house and turning right into the Crescent you pass "Battle's House", a large and impressive building incorporating on the right the ancient butcher's shop used in the early 1900s by John Clark. At one time a farmhouse with the barn converted into a lounge. It was usual for the village butcher to have his own farm. (No.1 The Crescent)(4).

Passing round the Crescent towards the junction there is, standing well back in the garden, the farmhouse occupied by Thomas and Ann Obbinson in 1750 " for their lives", and then known as Foxes Farmhouse, being built late in the 17th Century. (No. 18 The Crescent) (5)

Emerging from the Crescent, the large house facing you is known as the Old Vicarage (there is another one as well!!) being built in the late 18th Century and obviously having an association with the church. (No.25 East Street) (6)

Crossing into Deepdale Lane and turning left into North Street there soon looms what until recently was Walnut House, barn and farmyard. It is now a rebuilt Walnut House, a house converted from the barn and two tasteful new bungalows. Walnut House and Barn were built in the late 17th Century. David Burkitt rebuilt Walnut House (7)

At the corner where North Street joins Chapel Lane there is the site of the last thatched house in the village, the house disappearing in the 1950's although the thatch went during the late 40's (8). Round the corner into Chapel Lane is the old Methodist Chapel dated 1863 above the door, and opposite is the site of what was once a very large woodyard supplying all the village needs. It was used in the 1914-18 war for military purposes as evidence of a hand grenade being dug up in the garden in the late 1960's shows. The large attractive house was built in 1928 (9).

Past the Old Chapel stands two rows of cottages, built in the middle of the 19th Century for workers at the Greetwell stone pits. The bricks were locally made (10).

Standing near the Green is the Black Horse Inn being the site of the one time Poor House for the village and occupied as such in 1777. The present building dates from 1827 (11). Just past on the right hand side, next to the Plough Inn, there is an outstanding house built in the mid 18th Century. Sir Francis Bernard lived there in 1758 when he became Governor of New Jersey and in 1760 of Massachusetts but he was recalled in 1769 "after trouble with the natives"! (No. 2. The Green) (12).

The Plough Inn is another fine old building dating from the late 17th Century. It was one of the regular meeting places for the Nettleham Manor Court after the closure of the Bishop's Palace (13). Opposite the Plough is the building which served as a Village Institute. Built and given to the village at the turn of the 20th Century it was used as a Village Hall, a library, rifle range. billiard room, doctors surgery and even for housing Belgian soldiers in 1914-18 (14).

Into Church Street and on the opposite side is the late 17th Century cottage now used for commercial purposes. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton were the last private occupants many years ago (15).

In Church Street and dividing the Garage from the adjoining house is a large wall which was part of the old Jersey School built in 1786 (16). Opposite side of the road near the Church stands No. 11 Church Street, being built in the late 18th Century. This was the first Post Office in the village in the early 1900's, when the house was occupied by the Hill family (17).

The present Parish Church dates from early in the 13th Century, although there are records of a Nettleham Church being given to an abbey in France by William the Conqueror in 1081. Bishop Wells came to Lincoln in 1213 and recovered the Church from Normandy. In the front corner of the Churchard, near the Vicar's Wood. there can be found a gravestone for Thomas Gardner, a Nettleham post boy. murdered by the Hallam brother's in 1732 (18).

The Jubilee bridge taking the road over the Beck was built in 1897 and was the first bridge over the stream. It cost exactly £139-4-2 to build (19).

Alongside the Church lies the Vicar's Wood. maintained environmentally by the Parish Council but providing an interesting area for a rest and for birdwatchers (20).

Keeping to the footpath No. 5 Beckside is a charming olde worlde cottage of the late 18th Century. Mrs. Bertha Warwick who reached the grand old age of 90 years lived most of them in this house, being born in the Dean's Barn on the opposite side of the road (21).

At the end of Beckside stands Watermill House with a mill wheel in the front garden. An ancient watermill extending into the field at the back of the house which gave a traditional milling service to the whole village. When the mill was to be used the stream was dammed until the field at the back was full. The flow of water turned the mill wheel then fixed on the end of the house. The house was rebuilt to modern standards some years ago. This was one of seven watermill / windmills in the village (22).

Just along the footpath leading to the High Street was the site of the old village pump although all signs have now disappeared. Lincoln City dwellers were supplied with water from here during the typhoid epidemic in the early 1900's at one penny per bucketful! (23).

At the end of Watermill Lane, on the end wall of the last cottage facing High Street, there are two stone heads protruding from the wall. These are from the old Bishop's Palace (24). There is one further one on a cottage (62, High Street) in High Street opposite the end of Greetwell Lane (25).

Turning right into the High Street and leaving the site of the Old Wesleyan Chapel past the cottages, now 44 High Street, Ashtree House, Pigeon Loft and Barn show as newly converted into houses from the original late 18th Century construction. Ashtree House is of a similar age but is mainly hidden from view by the privet hedge and wall (26).

Photograph of the white hart inn, nettleham

Returning down High Street the White Hart Inn stands well. It was built in 1722 as a private house for Gentleman John Smith and became licensed in 1793. It was the home of Nettleham Manor Court and also a gaol for many years. During alterations in the 1950's a particular bulge in a wall was discovered to be a perfectly formed bread oven. A central venetian window in the first floor is an outstanding piece of 18th Century architecture (27).

Opposite lies the Bishops Palace site, dating from 1086 and the house from which Edward I declared his son to be the first Prince of Wales on the 7th February. 1301. The structure of the Manor House had disappeared by about 1650, having been badly damaged in the Lincolnshire Rising in 1536 (28).

Next door to the site is an attractive cottage (27 High Street) dating from the late 17th Century. It is the first house with a well under it but most on this side of High Street to the Church Cemetery have their own well either under the house or in the garden. There is an underground stream under the houses which does not have an outfall (29).

A little further down the street and No. 19 High Street (30) is another fine example of late 17th Century farmhouse, and Nos. 11 and 15 High Street constitute what until 1936 was the Saracen's Head Public House (31).

On the left of the entrance to the Mill House stands the Dean's Barn - one of the oldest dwellings in the village and may well have been part of the Bishop's Palace conglomeration of buildings. It is now near derelict (32).

Past the cemetery, the site of the Junior School was the location of the stables and outbuildings of the Bishop's Palace estate (33).

At the junction of Mill Hill! Vicarage Lane stands the "Old Vicarage." It is interesting that this house and the large farm house at the end of Lodge Lane were built to exactly the same design (34).

Further along Vicarage Lane stands Beck House probably the jewel of the whole village, being built in the 16th Century. The thatch was removed about 1900, but over the centuries the house was occupied by many well known citizens of the village. It was attached to a farm, still having a barn and stables behind (35).

The present Co-op store is on the site of the first village store built about 1872 by the grandfather of the Mansford family and owned by them until 1920. The Larder family sold out to the Co-op in about 1948. The first village tennis court was in the garden of the store, now the car park.

The outstanding War Memorial on the Green was erected in 1922. The interesting Village Sign was provided by the efforts of the local Women's Institute and is a pleasing replacement of the ancient Village Stocks (36)