Although Nettleham's history may be traced back to the Iron Age, its early development may be attributed to the Romans, who after establishing their garrison at Lincoln in 43AD, discovered a spring on the outskirts of the village, from which they supplemented their supply of fresh water from the wells in the upper city.
Following the departure of the Romans in the 5th century, the invading Anglo Saxons settled in Lincoln and the surrounding area. Although initially they claimed the manorial rights in Nettleham, the manor eventually became the property of Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor, and finally Queen Matilda of Scotland, wife of Henry I. The manor was then passed on to the Bishops of Lincoln. It was then that the early Saxon manor house was enlarged to create a 'palace' more suitable as a country retreat for the Bishop to entertain visiting nobility.
Participants in the Lincolnshire Rebellion of 1536, protesting against Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries and the suppression of Catholic religious houses, passed Nettleham on their way to the City of Lincoln and caused much damage to property, particularly to the Palace, and it was from this time that the building began to fall into disrepair. However a number of grass mounds, marking the outlines of the original buildings and gardens are still visible in the Bishop's Palace field today.
Whilst of Saxon origin, the parish church of All Saints, has modifications and decoration from the Middle Ages through to the 19th century, with beautiful stained glass windows and an attractive modern east window in the chancel which replaced the original damaged by a devastating fire in 1969.