There has been a settlement on the Dalemain estate since the time of the Saxons. The Manor grew out of a 12th-century defensive building, expanding most significantly in 1744 with its large Georgian front. Now, belonging to the Hasell-McCosh family who brought the property in 1679, the estate welcomes visitors throughout the year.
During the reign of Henry II in the 12th century, the main building, called the “pele tower”, was used to defend the valley against Scots raiding in the area. In the 14th-century a manor hall and second tower were added, with kitchen and living spaces expanded in the 16th-century. Sir Edward Hasell Dalemain bought the house in 1679, and his son, also Sir Edward, built the Georgian front to the house in 1744. Since this expansion there have been few alterations, with the house remaining as it did some two hundred years ago.
The Hasel-McCosh family opened the house to the public in 1977, with Jane Hasell-McCosh founding the World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival which runs at the house every year. You can book a specialist tour for Marmalade Lovers, or a “Secret Dalemain” tour, discovering parts of the manor which aren’t normally on show.
Inside the house you’ll find old toys and family portraits, and a sixteenth-century Fretwork Room shows off a special plaster ceiling and oak panelling. There is also a Chinese Room to be visited, featuring hand-painted wallpaper brought over to England on a tea clipper from China in 1757. These rooms are not just for show; the medieval hall, with its wooden beams and crackling open log fire, is now a tea room, open for visitors year round.
The five acre gardens at Dalemain won the Garden of the Year Award in 2013. They are home to a famous Himalayan Blue Poppu, the Dalemain Meconopsis Grandis, as well as a sheltered snowdrop wood, terrace garden, and a beautiful rose walk. There is an Elizabethan Knot Garden, a sixteenth-century apple house, and a silver fir - the biggest of its kind in the British Isles - all waiting to be explored.