(Sir), Devonshire. The legend is that the young wife of Sir Rupert Leigh eloped with a paramour, and the guilty pair, being pursued, were overtaken on the Red Cliff. The woman fell over the cliff, and the paramour sneaked off; but Sir Rupert let himself down some thirty feet, took up the fallen woman, and contrived to save her. She was terribly mutilated, and remained a sad disfigured cripple till death, but Sir Rupert nursed her with unwearied zeal. From this story the cliff received its name.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894