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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.

Photo: Council garden area start of trail – Ron Grierson


It should be noted straightaway that this trail and the whole Cistercian Way are not original medieval paths but a guess as to the route monks may have followed. The longer Cistercian Way from Grange to Furness Abbey [and onto Walney or Piel] follows the route that the monks from Savigny may have taken as they journeyed to Beckansgill [later called the Vale of the Deadly Nightshade] where they set about building their abbey in 1127. Our section from Dalton to the Abbey concentrates on the short section between the Abbey and Dalton Castle.

Of course the railway and modern road with its bridge mean that the path is probably different from the actual route taken by the monks but it is as close to it as is possible these days. Certainly, from the early 14th Century when Dalton Castle was built, first for defence and then as a courthouse for the Abbey – see castle entry – monks would have often walked between the two sites.

However, details are unclear and even Ian Brodie’s “official guide” to the trail is very sketchy on the history, concentrating on the present route.

Photo: Poaka Beck – Ron Grierson


Coming down from the castle, either along Church Street past St Mary’s Church and down the hill [as Brodie suggests] or the footpath from Market Place, you get to Goose Green past the Pinfold to the Brown Cow pub. Just below the pub car park is the open land where the trail starts below Poaka Beck and the hill above known as The Haggs. It continues now past the few remnants of Little Mill [look out for the millstone by the side of the track] to the railway bridge after which you need to cross the main road in front of the roundabout and continue on the path to the Abbey.

Ref: “The Cistercian Way, A South Lakeland Walk”  by Ian O Brodie, Carnegie Press 1989

Photo: Millwood behind Furness Abbey accessed via the Monks Trail – Ron Grierson

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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.