Dalemain House & Gardens
The first thing you’ll discover about Dalemain is that it is not quite what it seems. A defensive pele tower was constructed here in the 12th century. A hall was built onto the tower converting it into a manor house. During Elizabeth I’s reign, two wings were added to the hall. The impressive Georgian Facade is just that – a facade added to the Elizabethan part of the house in the middle of the 18th century.
Little is known of the early history of the building until it was bought in 1680 by Sir Edward Hasell, the steward of Lady Anne Clifford. The Hasell family has lived here ever since. In a small room in the pele tower are various pictures and objects associated with Lady Anne, including the last volume of her diary.
Some parts of the house are a glorious confusion of winding passages, quaint stairways, unexpected rooms – the sort of house children love to play in. Part of the charm of Dalemain is that it is still very much a family home, still occupied by the same family who have lived here for more than 300 years.
Dalemain has its fair share of grand public rooms, including the Chinese Room, with its original hand-painted wallpaper, furniture and fittings. You will find many examples of fine furniture and portraits.
The house is complemented by its magnificent park. The gardens have many rare plants and over 100 old-fashioned roses. Near the fountain behind the house stands a Greek Fir, the biggest of its kind in the UK. There are also some old Walnut trees, some fine Spanish Chestnuts and a 200 year old Tulip tree.
There is a restaurant and gift shop, and three museums within the grounds. Dalemain is one of the gardens in Cumbria with free entry for RHS Members at specific times of the year.
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