Alvediston lies at the head of the Ebble Valley, about 8 miles east of Shaftesbury. The lands, which later formed Alvediston Manor, were among 100 small dwellings granted to the nuns of Wilton by King Eadwig (Edwy) in 955.
The Church of St Mary was probably founded in the 12th century; the later 17th century church now on the site was extensively remodelled in 1886 and according to the church guide the font is large enough to immerse a baby! In the churchyard, with a fine memorial, is the grave of Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, who served as Prime Minster from 1955 to 1957. His last home was Alvediston Manor; an 18th century house located not far from the church.
Norrington Manor in the hills above Alvediston is believed to have been built during the reign of Richard II by John Gawen, who purchased the land in 1377. One of the oldest English families, the Gawens had links to Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. Norrington Manor underwent rebuilding work in the mid 1600s but the 14th century hall and vaulted undercroft survive as well as a vaulted porch and doorway with a king’s head corbel.