The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"DALTON-IN-FURNESS, a parish, township, and market town in the hundred of Lonsdale North of the Sands, in the N. division of the county of Lancaster, 16 miles N.W. of Lancaster, and 5 S.W. of Ulverston. It is situated near Furness Abbey and Morecombe Bay, and was the capital of Furness. The parish contains the townships and hamlets of Dalton-in-Furness, Ireleth, Rampside, and Walney Island. The town, which consists principally of one long street, has a station on the Whitehaven and Furness Junction railway. It has recently been much improved, and many of the old houses have been rebuilt. The market-place is situated at the western end of the town. The remains of a Roman road have been discovered, has led some antiquaries to believe it a place of very early date, but the erection of Furness Abbey by King Stephen was the cause of its first rise into importance. To this abbey Stephen granted many valuable privileges. Lambert Simnel, the pretended Earl of Warwick, landed here in the reign of Henry VII. Several engagements took place in the neighbourhood during the parliamentary war. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle, value £170, in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was built by the abbots in the reign of Edward III., but rebuilt in 1825. There are also the perpetual curacies of Ireleth, value £100, Rampside, value £105, and Walney, value £90, all in the patronage of the vicar; and the perpetual curacy of Barrow, value £140, in the patronage of the Duke of Devonshire. There is a Wesleyan chapel and a free school. The charities amount to £407 per annum. In the vicinity are excellent iron-mines and large iron-works. The lord of the manor holds a court-leet twice in the year; and in the castle, built in the reign of Edward III., courts of liberty are held. This castle is a massive quadrilateral building of three stages, having the principal entrance on the S. side. It is supposed to cover the site of the ancient fort of Agricola. From a neighbouring mound the beacon on High Haume may be seen. In 1631 the plague carried off about 500 persons in Dalton and the Isle of Walney. George Romney, the eminent painter, was born here in 1734; his picture, the "Death of General Wolfe," with which he came to London, gained the second prize in the Exhibition, and sold for a large sum. A hunt was established here in 1703 but has long been given up. About a mile and a half to the S. of the town is the sequestered vale of Bekang's Gill, where formerly stood Furness Abbey, the site of which is now called the Deer Park, and is enclosed with a stone wall, part of the ruins having been cleared from the rubbish which formerly concealed their features, by the late Earl of Burlington. Market day is Saturday, and fairs are held on the 28th April, 6th June, and 23rd October."