Nettleton is a village and civil parish in the West Lindsey District of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated less than 1 mile (1.6 km) south-west from the town of Caistor. According to the 2001 census the village had a population of 579.
On Boxing Day, shoemakers would traditionally 'beat the lapstone' at the house of any 'water drinker' (teetotaller), as a mocking act and practical joke. The tradition derives from an 18th-century story in which a Nettleton resident, Thomas Stickler, who had declined alcohol for twenty years, became inebriated after drinking half a pint of ale at his shoemaker on Christmas Day. When questioned by his wife, he replied that he was not drunk but had simply fallen "over the lapstone".
Lincolnshire is very low-lying and land had to be drained for agriculture to be successful. The larger drainage channels, many of which are parallel to each other, became boundaries between parishes. Many parishes are long and thin for this reason.
There is much fenland in Lincolnshire, particularly in the Boston and Horncastle areas. Fenlands tended to be extraparochial before the mid 1850s, and although many sections were identified with names and given the title "civil parish", little information has been found about them. Many appear to be abolished in 1906, but the parish which adopts them is not given in A Vision of Britain through Time. Note the WR category Lincolnshire Fenland Settlements which is an attempt to organize them into one list.
From 1889 until 1974 Lincolnshire was divided into three administrative counties: Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey. These formal names do not fit with modern grammatical usage, but that is what they were, nonetheless. In 1974 the northern section of Lindsey, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire, became the short-lived county of Humberside. In 1996 Humberside was abolished and the area previously in Lincolnshire was made into the two "unitary authorities" of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The remainder of Lincolnshire was divided into "non-metropolitan districts" or "district municipalities" in 1974. Towns, villages and parishes are all listed under Lincolnshire, but the present-day districts are also given so that places in this large county can more easily be located and linked to their wider neighbourhoods. See the WR placepage Lincolnshire, England and the smaller divisions for further explanation.