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.