The parish of Kingston Deverill, which since 1934 has included the village of Monkton Deverill, is part of the Deverill Valley. This encompasses six villages on the Wiltshire Downs where the western edge of Salisbury Plain dips into Somerset. Longbridge is the principal village and its parish includes neighbouring Crockerton. The other Deverills are Hill, now in Longbridge parish, and Brixton. The name Deverill refers to the River Deverill which flows through the whole valley. It rises to the west of Kingston and flows north, passing through the six villages. At Crockerton it meets the Shearwater stream and becomes the River Wylye. The name Deverill literally means 'diving rill'. There are points along its route where it peters out and flows underground, hence the disappearing rill or stream.
The name Kingston goes back to the Conquest, after which the land was owned by the Crown. It was probably given this name to distinguish it from the other Deverills, none of which, since the Conquest, have been royal property. Monkton means Monk's Farm. At the time of Domesday it belonged to the church of St. Mary of Malmesbury. The valley has been continuously inhabited by farming people since at least 3500BC, and there are numerous tumuli, earthworks and barrows. A round barrow on Middle Hill in Kingston Deverill was found to contain a rare and beautiful necklace made of a glass-like substance found in the Baltic.
There is an Iron Age site to the east of Keysley Farm in Kingston Deverill, and this may well have been the settlement site associated with the field system on Pertwood Down.
There is a strong connection with King Alfred, and his famous battle against the Danes at Ethandun. Alfred gathered his forces together at two meeting places, and it is possible that one of these was Court Hill at Kingston Deverill. There are three Sarsen Stones in a field next to the church, which were found by a farmer on King's Court Hill. It is said that King Egbert held court here. Local tradition says that Alfred climbed neighbouring King's Hill to view the enemy's position. It is therefore quite possible that Alfred used these Sarsen Stones on King's Court Hill as a meeting point. Prior to the Reformation, the Church was the main landowner in the Valley. At Domesday William the Conqueror confiscated much land from the English nobility, but left the holdings of the Church well alone. Longbridge, Crockerton and Monkton belonged to the Abbots of Glastonbury from the 10th century.
The church of St Mary the Virgin at Kingston Deverill was rebuilt in 1847, although the tower is reputedly 14th century. It consists of a nave, chancel, tower and south aisle. There was a Methodist chapel in the village in the 19th century. The church of St Alfred the Great at Monkton Deverill was rebuilt in 1845. The nave and chancel are all in one and there is a 13th century tower. Sadly, this church was declared redundant in 1970. There are sixteen listed buildings in the two parishes, including farmhouses dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There are also 17th and 18th century houses and cottages. The Rectory at Kingston, which served both parishes, was built in the 18th century and extensively altered in 1858 by Manners of Bath, the architect responsible for Kingston Deverill church. A cottage in Monkton Deverill has the Ludlow arms over the door. The Ludlow family had large estates in the Deverills from the 14th century and later married into the Coker family.
Until World War II the main source of employment in the valley was farming. The chalkland is excellent for growing corn, and large numbers of sheep were kept to fertilize the soil. By combining the growing of crops with keeping cows and sheep, making cheese and butter and selling milk, the farmers have always managed to make a living. As early as 1289 there were 1143 sheep on Brixton Downs. These sheep were traded at local sheep fairs and the thriving market at Warminster, and continued to be a good source of income down the centuries. By the early 19th century corn prices had risen; times were good in the Deverill Valley. Unfortunately this was soon to change. In the 1880s corn began arriving from abroad, soon to be followed by more foodstuffs. The Wiltshire farmers saved themselves by turning to fresh milk production instead. After the Second World War the farmed acreage of the Deverill parishes more than doubled. This was achieved by using land cleared by tanks that had used the Downs as a training area. At the time of the Domesday survey the estimated population figure for the whole valley is 680.
The largest community was Monkton with approximately 285 residents, and Kingston Deverill the smallest with only 34.
Like many villages, the Deverill Valley provided most of the services that people needed at the beginning of the 20th century. Farms were the main employers, and most services, such as a blacksmith, shoemaker or carpenter, were available at Longbridge. Brixton was able to support a village shop until 1915. There were Post Offices at Kingston and Longbridge, carriers at Kingston and Crockerton, and pubs at Monkton, Longbridge and Crockerton. There was a Reading Room at Crockerton, where men could read the newspaper or play games such as billiards or cards. Mains water and electricity were brought to the north of the valley in the mid 1930s, but did not reach the south until after World War two. Until 1895 both villages had their own school.