Location : Dalton-in-Furness
Grid Ref : SD 226739
Market Place, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria. Tel: 01229 463330.
Dalton-in-Furness is an old settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book. Dalton Castle stands above the town to defend the people of Dalton and the approaches to Furness Abbey. The original castle was possibly built in AD 79, with another building in 1172.
The present castle was probably built between 1314 and 1360, when the county was invaded by the Scots. The Castle, or Pele Tower, is similar in construction to many of that period, built as a rectangle 45 feet by 30 feet with walls at a maximum of 6 feet thick. Its role although originally defensive, was later as a courthouse and prison.
After the Castle was obtained by the National Trust from the Duke of Buccleuch, major restoration took place in 1968/69. There are now two floors above the ground floor. On display is some recently restored armour belonging to the castle. A guided tour around this small, but intriguing building gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the Abbot and monks of Furness, at one time amongst the most powerful in the country.
The castle is in the care of The National Trust, and is open (free of charge) on Saturdays between 2pm and 5pm.
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