"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.



A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions (extracts) for the Parish Church is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 5 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M18).

Brown, Mike. Gidleigh (Full Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 22. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.


Church History

Gidleigh - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Rawson, J. The Chapel of La Wallen, Gidleigh. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 11, (1920-21), illus., pp. 129-138. [Index]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1599 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1599 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1813-1837, Burials 1813-1884 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1613-1812, and Marriages 1599-1753.

The Deanery of Dunsford: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Ashton, Bridford, Chagford, Cheriton Bishop, Christow, Doddiscombsleigh, Drewsteignton, Dunsford, Gidleigh, Hittisleigh, Holcombe Burnell, South Tawton, Spreyton, Tedburn St. Mary, Throwleigh and Whitestone. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Ashton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1740-1837; Bridford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Chagford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Cheriton Bishop Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1841, Bur: 1813-1837; Christow Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1757-1844, Bur: 1813-1837; Doddiscombsleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1780-1837; Drewsteignton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Dunsford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Gidleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1748-1812 (BT's), Mar: 1814-1837, Bur: 1813-1884; Hittisleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Holcombe Burnell Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1753-1837; South Tawton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Spreyton Bapt: 1803-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Tedburn St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Throwleigh Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Whitestone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]


Description & Travel

Section on Gidleigh from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

You can see pictures of Gidleigh which are provided by:



Transcript of entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Copy provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



Dartmoor Press Online Magazine's page for this parish (archived copy), with articles, transcriptions, publication details, etc. - highly recommended.



Amery, J S & R H Worth. Gidleigh castle. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 57 (1925).

Grumley-Grennan, T. and Hardy, M. Gidleigh - A Dartmoor Village - Past & Present, Gidleigh Castle, Gidleigh, Devon TQ13 8HR, Glebe Publishing (2000) 200 pp. [ISBN 0-9538922-0-4]

Hughes, G.W.G. Gidleigh. Devonshire Assoc. Trans. (1947) pp91-104.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Gidleigh. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 6". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.

Whale, T W. Some remarks on the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor, with special reference to the parishes of Throwleigh, Chagford and Gidleigh. Vol 25, Trans. Devon. Assoc. (1893), pp. 510-534. [Index]

Wilkinson, B.E. Gidleigh castle. Devon Life vol. 1 no. 8, (1965) pp.30-32; ill.



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX670882 (Lat/Lon: 50.67822, -3.883792), Gidleigh which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Gidleigh contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.

Gidleigh Apprentices Register - 1803-1841, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF A203). [Foreword]