The word "Ideford" appears in 20 different forms through the ages, the most interesting being Yudaforda (Doomsday 1087), Idyforde (1291), Ideforde (1440) and Eddeforde (1576). Devon Manors were small and the boundaries are still the same as in Saxon times.
Ideford means Ida's ford
At an unknown date, a Saxon of this name settled here, clearing and cultivating the valley. Ideford's boundary was a trackway on a Celtic track from the Exe to the Teign. Unlike Chudleigh, Kingsteignton and Bishopsteignton, where they paid a tithe (tax) to the Cathedral, Ideford remained in private patronage, with a Rector as opposed to a Vicar and this contributed to Ideford surviving as a separate parish. The Rectory was created in 1810. An earlier outbuilding stood on the site now occupied by Ideford Garage.
The Doomsday Book
(a paperback copy of the Devon County Entry is held at Bees Corner, Ideford)
In 1087, the Doomsday Book gives the first picture of Ideford. It was held by Nicholas, the "Head Crossbowman", in recognition of his part in the Battle of Hastings. In those days, its acreage was about 1000, now 1130. By 1242, Ideford was held by a minor heiress whom Henry III married to a Fitzpaine and in 1303, Robert Fitzpaine sold the manor for 200 marks, approximately £130, to Sir Gilbert Knovil, a judge of the King's Bench (this would be the equivalent of £68,800.00 in todays market!!).
After various marriages, the estate came to Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornwall, whose family held it until the execution of Sir Humphery Arundell at the Tower Hill on 6th January 1550 for leading the rebellion of 1549 against use of the Prayer Book in English. The Crown confiscated the manor, giving it to Sir Peter Carew who at once sold it to George Southcott of Bovey Tracey. His descendants sold it to Charles, 6th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, in about 1750, whose descendants live at Ugbrooke House today.
This was part of the dowry of Elizabeth Marlyn of Lindridge, who, in 1653, married Thomas Clifford, MP for Ashburton, later created Baron Clifford of Chudleigh in 1672. Parish administration began in the Manor court about 1188 - where the (un-named) lord of Ideford had the right to a private gallows! This Manor court lasted until the 16th century. One interesting record therein was that by Privy Council Order 14th August 1628, as the Teignmouth sea-wall had been washed away, all parishes in Teignbridge and Exminster Hundreds, were to repair 4.5 yards (Chudleigh 9, Kingsteignton 10, Highweek 5.5, Bishopsteignton 11.5, Mamhead 3).
The ancient trackway over Haldon forms most of the east boundary of the parish. The Roman road from Exeter to Teignbridge is part of the eastern boundary which became the "turnpike road" in 1760. The other parish roads developed from medieval pony tracks. From about 1790 these widened as wheeled transport developed on Devonshire farms.
The First Flyover
Ideford Arch was cut in blocks from the Red Quarry and fitted on the spot in 1810 when the Exeter to Newton Abbot turnpike was deviated from the ancient line and carried over the far older Chudleigh to Bishopsteignton road (one of the earliest instances of a road overpassing another). This linked the two local ancestral homes - Lindridge (destroyed by fire in 1963) and Ugbrooke. The history of the two great houses (as above was connected by marriage) and by the links each has had with Ideford village and Church.