In the courtyard at Dalemain House is a 16th century Great Barn. Built in the 1500’s, the large loft barn is constructed of mixed sandstone and rubble walls with flush quoins. The two storey building features parallel stable ranges, casement windows and slit vents on two levels.
Flat headed under loft doorways of the Great Barn
The height of the roof was raised in 1685 and the upper floor of the building is now home to a Fell Pony Museum.
The Fell Pony Museum
The museum features an extraordinary collection of agricultural implements which chart the history of a bygone country life. Much of the equipment and tools have only become outdated over the last seventy years as a result of mechanisation.
Exposed roof timbers in the museum
The breed of ponies that have worked and travelled through the history of the Lake District have been known for over a century as ‘the Fell’. Native to the north of England, the breed are mostly found in the old counties of Westmorland and Cumberland and are known locally as galloways.
The cloisters under the Great Barn in the courtyard
Sylvia McCosh (born a Hasell of Dalemain) was involved in the revival of the breed during the post war years and she bred many prize winning Fell ponies that were exported all over the world. Some of her prizes and equipment are on display as part of the collection within the museum.
The enclosed castellated courtyard
The Great Barn and Stables are Grade II Listed.
Left stable range with segmental arched doorways
Located on a spur of high ground between Dacre Beck to the south and a small ravine to the north is Dacre Castle. The castle stands on the eastern side of a moated sub-rectangular island and was built soon after the licence to crenellate was granted to William de Dacre by Edward II in 1307. Moated sites were built throughout the Medieval period with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The fortified tower house is constructed of mixed sandstone with battlemented parapets concealing the roof. The east tower was built by Humphrey de Dacre some time before 1485. The castle remained in the Dacre family until after the death of Lord Dacre, Earl of Sussex, who lived an extravagant life at Court having married an illegitimate daughter of Charles II. The castle and extensive lands were purchased in 1715 from his Trustees by Sir Christopher Musgrave when he transferred the Dacre lands to his son in law Edward Hasell. Since this time the castle has remained part of the Dalemain Estates.
Dacre Castle is Grade I Listed and the ground beneath is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.