The River Nadder arises between the villages of Donhead St Andrew and Donhead St Mary and flows first a little north before joining the Sem and its journey eastwards towards Salisbury. Both villages merge and nestle between a seeming maze of small winding roads and steep hills just north of the A30, with the town of Shaftesbury just a few miles to the west. South from Donhead St Andrew, beyond the A30, lies Ferne, once home of the influential Grove family, whose earlier family seat was Berry Court, the former meeting-room (and present dining-room) of which is half in Donhead St Mary and half in Donhead St Andrew! To the north and east lies Wardour, ancestral home of the Arundells.
The church of St Andrew lies almost hidden from sight in the valley bottom near a small bridge. The chantry was founded in 1327. In the east window are the arms of Shaftesbury Abbey, whilst other windows are dedicated to members of the family of the rector Willam Dansey, who died 1856. Among the memorials is that of Captain John Cooke RN, who was killed commanding HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of Trafalgar. His widow Louisa and their only daughter Louisa Charlotte continued to live at Donhead Lodge for some years before moving to Cheltenham. There is another memorial commemorating the 'consummate skill and bravery' of John Cooke in St Paul's cathedral.