"Hartwell, Herdwell, Herde-Welle, is said to have derived its name from the Saxon Herd, a shepherd, or a flock; and Welle, a spring of water; which are correctly descriptive of its situation. The parish, about one mile from the town of AYLESBURY, is bounded on the north and east, by Aylesbury; on the south, by Stoke-Mandeville; and on the west, by Stone, and Eythorpe in Waddesdon; containing about six hundred acres, of which one-fifth is said to be arable, and twenty acres woodland. The soil is chiefly a stiff clay, with strata of limestone, rubble and course sand. A small stream from a spring near Wendover enters Hartwell on the east, runs north-west, and joins a brook which separates Aylesbury from this parish. Being ecclesiatically connected with the Chapelry of HAMPDEN PARVA, the returns made of the number of its inhabitants, &c. have often included that hamlet." [The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, by George Lipscomb, 1847]


The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Aylesbury Hundred, part two - Town and Environs, Volume 8", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Hartwell have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Aylesbury Hundred, part two - Town and Environs, Volume 8", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 28 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £1.18.9 of which sum Mr Bragge and Mic. Horton & his son contributed £0.10.0 each (these figures are for Hartwell with Little Hampden).

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 27 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Hartwell.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 115 inhabitants in 22 families living in 20 houses recorded in Hartwell.

Census Year Population of Hartwell
1801* 115
1811* 221
1821* 133
1831* 137
1841 138
1851 151
1861 137
1871 143
1881 146
1891 118
1901 118

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Mary the Virgin, Hartwell have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1550 - 1935
Marriages 1550 - 1935
Burials 1550 - 1812

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1553 - 1843
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Hartwell showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Hartwell, St Mary the Virgin 50 - Afternoon General Congregation
50 - Afternoon Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Hartwell which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Hartwell has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Hartwell was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

HARTWELL, in the hundred of Aylesbury and deanery of Wendover, lies about two miles from Aylesbury, on the road to Thame: it was formerly a hamlet of Stane. The manor was in the family of Luton, from the reign of Henry III. to the year 1392, or somewhat later; afterwards in the Hampdens: it is now the property of the Rev. Sir Charles Lee bart. whose ancestor, Sir Thomas Lee, acquired it in marriage with the daughter of Michael Hampden esq. Thomas Lee, great grandson of Sir Thomas, was created a baronet in 1660. The Lees were settle at Moreton, in the neighbouring parish of Dinton, as early as the fifteenth century. Hartwell-house is spacious old mansion, a part of which was altered and modernized by Sir William Lee, father of the present baronet. The state gallery remains with its ancient furniture, velvet chairs, and gobeline tapestry. In the great-dining-room are a few portraits, among which is a fine whole-length of Sir John Suckling, which was supposed by Sir Joshua Reynolds to be by the hand of Cornelius Jansen. There also some views of the house, which were taken before the alteration.

The manor of West-Orchard, alias Seintclare, alias Bray, which names seem to denote the families by whom it had been formerly possessed, having been forfeited by the attainder of Sir Robert Whittingham, was granted in the year 1464 to Sir Thomas Montgomery, and his heirs male.

The church was rebuilt by the present baronet's father, Sir William Lee, in imitation of the Gothic style, with two octagonal towers: the roof is richly ornamented with tracery. There is a tablet in memory of some of the Hampden family, particularly Sir Alexander, father of John Hampden the patriot. In the old church were some brass plates, with memorials of the Hampdens. Sir Charles Lee is patron and incumbent of the rectory. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1776, when an allotment of land was assigned to the rector in lieu of tithes.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP794124 (Lat/Lon: 51.804613, -0.849844), Hartwell which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Hart well is believed to derive from the old english heorot, wella and to mean 'spring or stream frequented by harts or stags'. Lipscomb gives a slightly differrent derivation, (see top of page), as he suggests the first word refers to a flock or herd, rather than a hart.