Dalemain is one of the most beautiful and impressive houses in the North West of England. Its Georgian ashlar façade glows magnificent 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', and there has been a settlement here since Saxon times.
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 marauding Scots to the North.
To this was added a manor hall in the 14th century, with a second tower and in turn, in the 16th century were added two wings housing kitchen and living quarters, one on each side of the main building. Here, there remains a glorious confusion of winding passages, quaint stairways and unexpected rooms, including the Fretwork Room with its magnificent, sixteenth-century plaster ceiling and 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.
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. So, the house became much more grand with public rooms including the breath-taking Chinese Room with its original, eighteenth-century, hand-painted wallpaper.
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 where rooms are used throughout the year. There are interesting collections of fine furniture, family portraits, ceramics, dolls' houses, and old toys.
WELCOME to Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens - Easter & Summer Opening times
The Historic House & Gardens officially opened for the Summer Season on Sunday 6th April 2014. We are open Sunday to Thursday 10.30am to 5pm.
PENRITH REMEMBERS 1914 - 1918
Penrith Remembers Launches The Centenary Programme of the Commemoration of the World War 1
Penrith Remembers has now collated all the local events for the coming year which commemorates the beginning of the First World War. It will be launched at Dalemain on 8 April 2014. This will be attended by Brigadier Chris Coles.
Dalemain Wins HHA/Christie's Prestigious Garden of the Year Award 2013
The charming English gardens of Dalemain, nestled in the Lake District, have won the 2013 Garden of the Year Award sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christie’s. This prestigious national award, now in its 29th year, is designed to recognise the importance of gardens with outstanding horticultural and public appeal, either in their own right or as the setting for an historic house.
Dalemain wins prestigious Heritage Award for best event 2012
Dalemain has been presented with a prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Award for Best Event 2012 - The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival.