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GIDLEIGH IN WHITE'S DIRECTORY OF 1850

 

"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.

 

Gidleigh Park (now a hotel)

Gidleigh Park, rebuilt by the Whipham family in the 1860s.

It had been a ruin when they purchased it from the Gidleigh family

and has been extensively extended over the years.

 

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 to 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 which comprises in its ancient boundaries an extensive tracty of rocky ground "fruitful only in rabbits but curious from its singular appearance.

 

The River Teign at Gidleigh Park

The River Teign at Gidleigh Park

from a Victorian photograph

A steep descent from the park to the river Teign, is studded by enormous rocky protuberances, whose level summits display many of the excavations called Rick-basins. The Roaring stream at the bottom of this descent and the wooded front of the bold bank that rises on the opposite side, and the vast masses of rock on either hand, grey with moss or dark with ivy, render this part of the Park truly romantic.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.

 

Gidley Parish Church

Gidleigh Parish Church

©Richard J. Brine

 

The Church (Holy Trinity,) is an antique structure, with a tower and four bells. Its fine old screen was cleaned and repaired in 1848. The rectory, valued at £80 in 1831, has 29 acres of glebe but the parsonage house is now only a cottage. (By 1850 The Rev. Whipham had made Gidleigh Park his main residence so another house was not needed for the incumbent)."

 

Gidleigh Castle from the churchyard

Gidleigh Castle from the Churchyard

©Richard J. Brine

 

 

 
 
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