THE EDGE
VACATION & HOLIDAY GUIDE TO
CUMBRIA & THE LAKE DISTRICT


Dalton Castle Cumbria

Dalton Castle Cumbria

 

DALTON
CASTLE
Location:
OS ref
SD 225739
Sheet 96.
The castle is at
the top of the
town of Dalton
in Furness, on
the Furness
peninsular in the
SW corner of
the county.

 

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Castle

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Castle

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Castle

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Castle

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Castle

Egremont
Castle

Kendal
Castle

Muncaster
Castle

Pendragon
Castle

Penrith
Castle

Piel
Castle

Sizergh
Castle

Workington
Hall

Dalton Csstle a three storey tower was built on the instructions of the Abbot of nearby Furness Abbey soon after a Scots raid of 1322 led by Robert Bruce, in which much of the lands and property belonging to the Abbey were ravaged. The present building is possibly a replacement for one damaged in the raid: certainly there has been a stronghold here since at least 1239 when there is mention of a jury and later a prison.

In 1323 an order was made to Furness Abbey to the effect that the Abbot should give his Peel tower near the Abbey to the Sheriff of Lancaster. Some have interpreted this to mean Dalton Castle which resembles a pele tower, and some believe it refers to Piel Castle on Piel Island in the mouth of Barrow harbour, also owned by the Abbey. Dalton seems the more likely candidate. The Dissolution of 1537 saw the ownership of the castle pass to the Crown, as part of the Abbey estates. Stone was taken from the Abbey in 1546 and used in some much needed work to the castle, where the walls were in a poor state of repair, the floors rotten with damp and the roof leaking.

The castle's role as a prison continued until 1774, and it remained a court right up to 1925. It was given over to the care of the National Trust in 1969 by the Duke of Buccleuch. The intervening years saw repairs and 'improvements' made to the castle on no less than three occasions. Some of these now seem regrettable but probably kept the building in use as a court and by doing so kept it from falling into dilapidation and ruin.

Dalton is not the largest castle in the county but is still an impressive, plain-faced rectangular tower, measuring in plan approximately 45feet/14metres by 30feet/9metres.

The castle is open to the public: entry is free, though the Friends of Dalton Castle are trying to raise enough money to repair the roof, so that any donation would be gratefully accepted. Opening times are between 2 and 5 in the afternoon on Saturdays only. On other days ask for the keys from Mr and Mrs Pilkington, Myrtle Terrace, Dalton In Furness, Cumbria. or telephone , from the end of March until the end of September . There are some interesting artefacts to be seen inside, and the castle should be visited if you are going to see Furness Abbey or the towns round about.

 

 

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