HADDENHAM, in the hundred of Aylesbury and deanery of Wendover, lies about seven miles south-west of Aylesbury, and three from Thame, in Oxfordshire. King William the Conqueror demised the manor of Haddenham during his life, to Archbishop Lanfranc, who gave it to Gundulph, bishop of Rochester. On the donor's death it reverted to the crown, and William Rufus, on his accession, demanded 100 l. for renewing it, a sum so exhorbitant, that the prelates were both astonished, and declared they were not possessed of so large a sum, nor knew how to procure it. Two courtiers, well inclined to all parties, suggested that the manor should be restored to the see, on condition that Gundulph, who was very intelligent and expert in masonry, should, at his own expence, build the castle of Rochester with stone; which proposal was at length accepted on the bishop's being exonerated from further repairs. Ernulph, Gundulph's successor, who is supposed to have been the author of the Textus Roffensis, where this is related, supposed that the cost amount to 60 l. After this transaction, it appears that the manor of Haddenham was granted by William Rufus, to the prior and convent of St. Andrew, at Rochester, to whom it was confirmed by King Henry I. with the manor of Cuddington, as an appendage. In 1294, the monks procured a charter for a market on Thursdays, at this place, but it was discontinued in 1301, in consequence of a law-suit with the bishop of Lincoln, who found that it injured his market at the neighbouring town of Thame: the same charter granted a fair for three days, at the festival of the assumption of the Virgin Mary. After the dissolution of monasteries, this manor continued for some time in the crown: it is now in moities, one of which belongs to Mrs. Anne Herbert, sister and co-heir of Philip Herbert esq. who died in 1749; the remaining moiety, which passed in marriage with the other co-heir to the late Lord Wenman's father, is now, by bequest, the property of Miss Bertie.
The Grenville family had for many generations an estate in this parish, which acquired the name of Grenville's Manor; it was alienated from the family in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and having within a few years passed through several hands, was purchased jointly in 1569, by Robert Rose, John Ross, and Robert Morse. Grenville-Manor-Place, with a third part of the estate, is still in the descendants of Robert Rose, and Ross's share, we have been informed, still remains in his family.
The parish church is a large Gothic structure, much out of repair, it contains no monuments of note; there are a few memorials for the family of Saunders. Near the church was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, of which there are no remains. The great tithes belong to the dean and chapter of Rochester, who are patrons of the vicarage.