Category: Local Attractions
Dalemain is one of the most beautiful and impressive houses in the North West of England. The finely dressed pink stone of its Georgian façade glows magnificently in the sunlight. Yet hidden behind the ordered geometry of its Palladian architecture is the story of its past.
The name Dalemain means 'manor in the valley', there has been a settlement in it's position since the time of the Saxons.The first recorded mention of a building on this site, is of a fortified pele tower in the reign of Henry II; one of a line of towers built to protect the country against the marauding and barbaric Scots to the North.
In the 14th century a manor hall was added, with a second tower and during the 16th century two wings housing kitchen and living quarters, one on each side of the main building were built. These various building works provide a glorious confusion of winding passages, quaint stairways and unexpected rooms in the house that stands today; the Fretwork Room particularly has a magnificent sixteenth-century plaster ceiling and beautiful oak panelling.
In 1679, Sir Edward Hasell bought Dalemain thanks to a legacy from his employer Lady Anne Clifford. Sir Edward acted as 'Chiefe Officer' to Lady Anne Clifford until her death in 1676. As thanks, he was given various gifts from Lady Anne, including her portrait by Bracken and her Diary of 1676 both of which are on show.
Although he made minor changes to the building it was not until later when his son, Edward, built an impressive Georgian front in 1744. This enclosed a central courtyard between the new and the old parts of the house and the house became much grander with public rooms including the breath-taking Chinese Room with its original eighteenth-century, hand-painted wallpaper, riotously alive with birds, insects and flowers.
There have been no major alterations since that date and the interior has thus gradually developed slowly. In 1920 much of the house was modernised by Gertrude Hasell, wife of Major Hasell, who introduced electricity, central heating and redecorated many of the rooms.
The house was opened to the public in 1977 but remains very much lived in by the Hasell-McCosh family where rooms are used throughout the year. There are interesting collections of fine furniture, family portraits, ceramics, dolls' houses, and old toys.
PARTIAL DISABLED ACCESS ONLY - please call Tel: 017684 86450 for further information.
- Disabled drivers may drive into the courtyard and park their car.
- Due to the historic building there is no access to the first floor except via the stairs.
- The gardens are accessible (excluding the lower garden) to wheel chairs although the gravel paths can be uneven.
- A mobility scooter is available at the Gift Shop - it is advisable to book in advance to avoid dissappointment.
- The Courtyard area is grade one listed cobbles and can be quite uneven.
- Disabled toilets are available in the toilet blocks.
- Please do call if you require any further information.
DOGS - Assistance dogs only in the House & Gardens, tearoom and gift shop.
Dogs on leads are welcome in the outside Courtyard area, car parking area and Dacre walk at the back of the house. Fresh drinking water provided in a bowl at the back door. If you eat outside in the Courtyard all dogs welcome on leads. Thank you for your co-operation.