"GIDLEIGH, or GIDLEY, a small scattered village, on the eastern declivities of Dartmoor Forest, near one of the tributary streams of the river Teign, 7½ S.E. of Okehampton, and 17 miles W. by S. of Exeter, has in its parish 182 souls, and 2435A. 3R. 30P. of land, more than half of which is open common, &c., in Dartmoor. It includes two small hamlets, called Chapel and Forder, and is watered by the Teign and two of its tributaries, which have their sources a few miles westward, among the rude hills and dales of Dartmoor. The manor belonged, from the reign of Wm. the Conqueror till that of Edward II., to the ancient family of Prouz or Prous, who had a castle here, and an extensive park. Some remains of the castle keep are still standing, near the church. With the heiress of the Prouz family, the manor passed to the Mules; and from them it passed the Damarells. It afterwards passed to the Coad, Gidley, and Rattery families, and was purchased with the advowson, under a decree of the Court of Chancery, by the late Rev. Thomas Whipham. The Rev. Arthur Whipham, M.A., is the present rector, patron, and lord of the manor, and has a handsome modern seat in GIDLEIGH PARK. . . . Mr. John Rowe, Mr. Wm. Brock, and several smaller owners have estates in the parish. In 1848, L. Prinsep, Esq., built a neat house and two towers on the highest hill in the parish. The Church (Holy Trinity,) is an antique structure, with a tower and four bells." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
Gidleigh parish is in Wonford Hundred, and the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the Dartmoor area.