A Brief History of Dalton

Dalton in Furness was historically the medieval capital of Furness, appearing in the Domesday book as Daltune and was one of the townships forming the Manor of Hougan held by Earl Tostig.

In 1123, Stephen, Count of Boulogne and Mortain and later King of England gave a parcel of land at Tulketh near Preston to the monks of Savigny in France. Four years later the monks moved from Tulketh to the remote site of Furness. Here they founded an Abbey in the Vale of Nightshade′. The Abbey, St Mary of Furness, grew wealthy and prosperous and was second in importance only to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Dalton grew  with its close links to the Abbey, becoming the centre of the courts and justice administered by the Abbot of Furness. In 1239 the King granted Dalton a Market Charter reflecting its importance in the area.

Over a number of years Dalton suffered with raids carried out by the Scots. The last great raid was in 1322 under the leadership of Robert the Bruce and much of Furness was devastated. The record of rents paid to the Abbey tells the story, prior to the raid the Church at Dalton was taxed at £8 per year, after the raid it was reduced to £2.

Following the destruction of the Abbey during the dissolution of the monasteries between the years 1536 – 1541 the fortunes of Dalton went into decline until the mid 1800′s when Iron Ore was discovered in the Furness area. Dalton became a centre for the transportation of the Iron Ore and once again it prospered and grew.

Dalton remained the capital of Furness, administering the large geographical area of Dalton, Askam and the then hamlet′ of Barrow in Furness until 1974 when the Local Government Reorganisation transferred the powers of administration to Barrow Borough Council.