| DALTON, a parish and market-town in the hundred of Lonsdale, Lancaster, 4 miles from Ulverston, and 266½ from London; containing 214 houses and 1052 inhabitants, of whom 28 were returned as being employed in trade, &c. It is seated upon a lime-stone rock near the sea, at the side of a rich vale, near the spring-head of a small river, and is divided into four townships. On the west side of the market-place is an ancient castle or tower, built by the abbots of Furness for the imprisonment of debtors; but it is now only used for holding a court baron every three weeks, for recovery of debts under 40
s. and a court-leet. About one mile south of the town lie the magnificent ruins of Furness abbey, standing in a vale called
Beacon's Gill, from the remains of a beacon close by. The splendour of this monastery continued above four centuries, till it was suppressed, and afterwards demolished by Henry VIII. in 1537. The church is an ancient building, but very neat, and has lately received the addition of an organ, erected by subscription. The town being in an excellent sporting county, it is much resorted to during the summer. It has four grammar schools, and a monthly book club. Two miles to the eastward of Dalton are some extensive works for procuring iron ore; amongst which are found great quantities of
haematites, called by the workmen kidney and steel ore. On the south-west promontory of the parish stands the remains of the ancient castle of the
Peel of Foundrey, which appears to have been a strong fortification, surrounded by two ditches. The port here is very large and commodious. A light-house has lately been erected at the south end of the Isle of Walney. In 1774, in clearing a field belonging to Dalton hall, some remarkably old foundations were discovered. The market is on Saturdays, and the fairs on the 6th June and 23d October, for horses, horned cattle, &c. The living is a vicarage, value 17
d. in the patronage of the king, as duke of Lancaster.