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Notice: Dalton Castle is now closed for this season. Thank you to everyone for visiting this year, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year.
14th-century tower built to assert the authority of the Abbot of Furness Abbey
The 14th-century tower known as Dalton Castle was formerly the manorial courthouse of Furness Abbey. Here the abbott exercised his right to hold manorial courts and administer justice within the lordship of Furness, as authorised by the abbey's foundation charter of 1127. The building would have contained not only the courtroom and one or two other rooms in which the business of the lordship was transacted, but also a gaol, guardrooms and stores.
After the dissolution of the abbey in 1537, the castle continued as a courthouse for over 300 years, owned at first by the Crown and then by the Dukes of Albermarle, the Dukes of Montagu, and finally the Dukes of Buccleuch.
Its interior has seen many alterations, the last and most radical being that of 1856 when three upper floors, accessible from a stone spiral staircase, were superseded by a single upper room and an additional stairway. Dalton Castle was given to the National Trust by the 8th Duke of Buccleuch in 1965.