History


 

First mentioned in the 10th Century as Afintun, Avington originally belonged to the Cathedral of Winchester until King Henry VIII granted the estate to Edmund Clerke, who built the banqueting hall, now the Orangery.

In the mid C17th, Avington was owned by George Brydges, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles II. He enlarged the house to accommodate the King and Nell Gwynne. The 3rd Duke of Chandos, a cousin, inherited the property and made many improvements, adding the leaded statues, fountain, redecorating and gilding the state rooms, as well as laying out the gardens and parkland, planting avenues and vistas.

His only child, married the Duke of Buckingham and Stowe, who became the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, inheriting Avington, and played host to King George IV and Mrs Fitzherbert.

The estate was sold in 1847 to Sir John Shelley, brother of the poet, and was sold to Lt. Col and Mrs Hickson in 1951, and is now in trust with their family.