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Certainly one of the oldest parts of the town, just below the castle and church. The name, one must suppose, is based on the idea that there was once a pond and village green with geese there, but Walton quotes another apocryphal tale, that geese which disembarked at Barrow were walked to Ulverston, pausing at the pond for water and rest. Whatever the origins of the name, this area has had a large say in the history of Dalton.

Its pinfold, workhouse, first school, gas works and first gaol were all here, where Poaka Beck flows south out of the town.

The PINFOLD was, and is, here, the circular walled area where stray animals were kept until their owner came to collect them on payment of a fine; the “pinder” was a man appointed by the local authority to collect such fines. Pinfolds were common in many towns around the country and Cumbria alone has several but Dalton’s is in particularly good order. It is not known precisely when it was built but is referred to by Sir Henry Slingsby in accounts of the Civil War in the area in 1643:

“The enemy had taken into a little town [Dalton] not above two musket shot off from our horse. Their horse was not many and drawn behind the town their foot had taken, some into a pinfold that was walled with stone and stood in the middle of the town; the rest had lined the hedges on either side. Sir John [Maney] draws his horse into three bodies, two he sends to beat off the foot, and himself charges directly forward into the town. After one shot given they quit the town and retreated to the rest of the foot in the field, those in the pinfold were taken and kill’d.”

Of course, one cannot be certain it was the same pinfold as is here now but there is no reason to believe otherwise.

As for the WORKHOUSE, one had been in existence at Billincote since 1735. This had been a wretched place by all accounts and the parish were not exactly compassionate, as witnessed by the tale of poor Mary Simpson who found herself heavily pregnant evicted in 1744 because she was not from the town. The “Inhabitants of Dalton used threatening words to induce her to come from the workhouse” and the horse ride out shook her so much that she died in labour a few days later.

In 1826 Billincote was closed and the workhouse was transferred to new premises at Goose Green [now a couple of cottages between the Brown Cow and the old Chequers/Green School building]. It did not last long here, however, as the Poor Law Amendment Act provided for the Ulverston Union and the paupers from Dalton were transferred there. A charity from those days, the Billincoat [new spelling] Charity, provided some relief from poverty, especially during the Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, and it continues today. As the Town Council website says: “The Billincoat charity is a long-standing charitable organisation making grants to individuals and community groups within the Borough of Barrow in Furness. Originally established in the 1600’s by Sir Thomas Preston and Richard Gaitskill it has been operating ever since. The trustees of the charity, meet at Dalton Town Hall three times a year to consider applications. The trustees who are drawn from various backgrounds award grants to young people, the elderly, people with disabilities and voluntary groups, grants are made for continuing education, the advancement of health, provision for disability/ies and the relief of poverty.”

The large building to the right of the old workhouse cottages as you look at them was originally Dalton’s FIRST SCHOOL. In 1622 a Thomas Boulton left the sum of £220 with the sole purpose of building, setting up and running of a school. Children from the parish could be educated free of charge but those from outside had to pay an entrance fee; initially there were twenty scholars.

It continued as the Free School until 1862 when it became the Boys’ National School. It was rebuilt several times over the years and became known locally as the “Green” school, being at Goose Green. It continued in operation all the way until 1970 when it became inadequate and a new Church of England School was built on Coronation Drive and took the pupils and, for some people, the nickname of the “Green School” too. After being empty for a while it was converted into a hotel called “Chequers” which ran until 2019 when it closed for financial reasons. The building is now being converted into apartments.

Also at Goose Green, further back under the hill, is the BROWN COW Inn. It is almost certainly the oldest hostelry in the town and the pub’s website claims that “Since 1500 AD, The Brown Cow Inn of Dalton-in-Furness has stood here at the foot of the High Bluff on which also stand the only two buildings in Dalton that are older; the church and the castle.”

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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.