Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dalton Old Hall pele tower, Dalton Nr Burton in Kendal

Dalton Old Hall and pele tower
Near Burton In Kendal

A long tortuous walk through fields and woods looking for the public footpath markers that all seemed to have vanished, eventually saw me bagging one of the last South Lakes pele towers missing from my collection.

The old hall here, dates from the 17th century, evidenced by a surviving dated lintel with 1666 carved into it, but the real interest are the consolidated rubble remains to the North West of the farm house. 

Above. The West side of Dalton old Hall.

Some historians tell us that these rubble remains are all that now exists of a tower house that once stood next to the hall, and may at some point even have been part and parcel of the same building....as at Burneside, Cowmire and other sites throughout the South Lakes area.

Above. Dalton Old Hall from the footpath to the North.

At first sight, the remains seem to be just a raised rubble filled area, measuring around 25 feet by 40 feet. The walls stand to around 6 feet tall, with a stepped entrance on the South....original or not...it's very difficult to tell. There also appears to be a bricked up window or door in the West wall of this structure.

Above. Dalton Old Hall from the remains of the pele tower.

The interior of the remains appear to be divided by a thin (12 inch) cross wall, but it's nearly impossible to tell if this is an original feature, if it's been inserted at some point when it's been used for other purposes, or if it's an ornamental feature....the farmer told me that the top had, at some point in the past, been used as a children's garden.

Above. Looking into the two rooms in the last remains of the pele tower.

Looking from the West of the farm house, the structure is almost invisible behind its cover of ivy and other shrubs. If these remains are the last vestiges of a tower house, they are scant remains of what may at some point, have been an impressive defensive dwelling.  

Above. The hidden remains of the pele tower, behind the ivy.

Above. The pele tower with a bricked up window or door to the left.

Many towers and peles are built on a plinth of boulders, but it is impossible to tell if this is the case here due to the landscaping that has taken place around the base of the walls. It's also impossible to tell if the stepped entrance is in the place of an original doorway, and if, as shown above, the bricked up portion of the wall represents an old window or another doorway. There is obviously a huge amount of rubble now filling the interior of the structure nearly to the top of the wall. 

Above. Close up of the surviving West wall of the pele tower.
Above. The only surviving two walls of the pele tower.

Above. An original entrance into the pele tower?

I've scoured the internet and various texts for any additional information regarding the remains here at Dalton Old Hall...but to date, there seems to be nothing of any note that points to this definitely being a pele tower or tower house of any type. Still...I'm happy that I've been able to add it to my collection of sites.

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