is situated in the attractive wooded countryside of the
Oxfordshire Chilterns on high land on the A4130 between
Wallingford and Henley. The village is surrounded by large
areas of common land.
The origin of the name of the village is unknown, but
it is likely to have been so named because of the nettles
which grow in abundance around the area. A linen type
cloth can be made from thread obtained from nettles and
sheets and table cloths made from nettles were common
at the end of the 18th century.
There is plenty of evidence that the area has been inhabited
for centuries. Middle Stone age implements have been found
in earthworks; there are remains of a Roman encampment
nearby and a Palaeolithic floor was found on Nettlebed
Common. The well-known Grimm's Ditch passes by Nettlebed
and Nettlebed was probably of some importance because
of its position where the Henley - Oxford road intersects
the Chiltern Ridgeway. Near the bus shelter are two stones,
known as pudding stones, thought to be millions of years
old. These used to be used for mounting horses.
There has been a church in Nettlebed for a thousand years.
The present church, St. Bartholomews, replaced the second
church and was completed in 1846 following a major re-build.
Parts of the tower date back to Norman times and are all
that remains of the previous church.
Clay suitable for pottery and brick making was found locally
and, as a result, Nettlebed was the most important brick
and tile making centre in the Chilterns from the mid-14th
century onwards. A disused lime kiln is prominent in the
centre of the village which was in use until 1938 and
was restored in 1972-4.
Fleming, the founder of the merchant bank Fleming and
Company, bought a village estate which included 2000 acres,
kilns, clayworks and many of the cottages. The Fleming
family still live locally, run the Estate and take an
active part in village life, although the house, Joyce
grove, is nowadays a Sue Ryder palliative care home.
St. Bartholomew's Church, the lime kiln and the Sue Ryder
home are all listed buildings and there are 23 other listed
buildings in and around the village. The centre of the
village, mainly along the main road is a conservation
is fortunate to still have a thriving post office/village
shop, and many people will have heard of the village through
the advertisements for Brights of Nettlebed, have their
headquarters and a showroom here.
from the popular TV series Midsomer
Murders have been filmed in the village of Nettlebed.