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*All Dalton Heritage Trail artworks** including the logo, leaflet, map, signage art, films and photographs are copyrighted to the artist Rachel Capovila and Barrowfull. Permissions are granted for the use of the Dalton Heritage Trail and educational resources relating to the trail ONLY under the administration of DACH. Any other use or reproduction must have permissions from the artist.

**Except where stated and the copyright remains with the named eg photographer or writer.

This is an 1855 Grade II listed building[1] and was formerly an historic pub on the bottom of the market square and close to the Castle and the church. An inn is believed to have been on this site since 1370 and called the Black Cock. From C.1770 to 2009[2] it was known as the Cavendish Arms. Most, recently it was Hartley’s Brewery pub.

In 2013, some dendrochronological dating of the raised cruck roof trusses revealed that the timber was cut down in 1537[1], the year of the dissolution of Furness Abbey; perhaps more timber became available after the dissolution!

In 1756, the Holker estate had passed by marriage to Lord George Augustus Cavendish and thus the family became significant landowners in the area, though no specific connection has been found.

Mr Edward Wadham, who became Mineral Agent to the Duke of Buccleuch and later surveyor to William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire and Mayor of Barrow, arrived in the area in 1851 aged 23. He records in his diaries several visits to the Cavendish Arms for meetings or dinner. On his second day in the area he records: “…..drove over to Dalton and made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain lodgings, very much amused with the quaint language of one Mrs Dawson of the Cavendish Arms who puzzled me nearly as much as the scotch did on my first entry into their country.” [4]

Photo: Cavendish Arms and side gate – Ron Creer


At the rear of the inn, there was a suite of rooms making up the Sportsman’s Hall also known as Lord Stanley’s Hunting Rooms, dating back to 1772. It was used by hunters taking part in the Rout, an annual 10 day event of fox hunting followed by a ball[5][6]. The Stanleys were an old Lancashire family[7] from Knowsley, who were politicians and had an inherited peerage of Earl of Derby.  The family owned land around Stainton and Bolton Heads and were known locally as Lords of the Manor of Bolton with Adgarley.

Photo: Sign on wall of Cavendish Arms – Ron Creer


This Rout was discontinued and the hall became part of the Cavendish Arms. Subsequently, auctions of property and houses were regularly held in the “assembly rooms” as well as some of the annual Oddfellows ball, travelling shows and court cases. Hunts did continue, with gentleman coming from as far as Kendal, with evening celebrations at The Cavendish Arms. The hall had three big windows in the south wall and it over looked the once dusty red road taken by the ore carts to Barrow Head. Newspaper adverts suggest it was enlarged in 1860. The coming of the Dalton to Barrow Railway in 1851 will have quickly improved the vista.

The building was converted in 2014 into four flats with a shared garden.

Compiled by Martin Bates May 2022




[4] Edward Wadham Diaries Cumbria Archives CASCAT BDX 653/1

[5] – John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


[7] Stanleys of Lancashire

Sankey Photographic Collection


Sankey Photographic Collection

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About us

Dalton is the ancient and historic capital of Furness and has approximately 8,000 residents at the current time. Ideally located less than thirty miles from the Lake District and close to the Irish Sea coast and nature reserves, Dalton is home to one of the Counties largest tourist attractions, South Lakes Wild Animal Park.