A C17 terrace and a walled garden of the C17 and C18, laid out or improved by Sir Edward Hasell; C18 parkland with woodland probably planted in the late C18 by Williams Hasell and a walled deer park, probably of C17 or C18 date.
The site was owned by John de Morville in the C12. It passed to the Layton family in the C13, who sold it to Edward Hasell (1642-1707), steward of Lady Anne Clifford, in 1679. Hasell was knighted in 1699. His grandson Williams (1737-86) was known as 'the Planter' for his interest in laying out woodland, and is credited with extensive planting in the park at Dalemain (guidebook). He is shown, standing in sylvan scenery, in a late C18 painting by Arthur Devis. The house remains in the hands of the Hasell family, and continues (1997) in use as a private residence.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
Dalemain is situated c 1km south of the village of Stainton on land which slopes downwards from the north. Woodland running along the east side of the River Eamont forms most of the eastern boundary, with a c 700m stretch of the north-eastern boundary and c 800m of the south-eastern boundary formed by the A592. Fencing along the outer edge of Evening Bank Wood is the northern boundary, and the western boundary is also fenced, along the outer edges of Friar's Darrock Wood and Dogkennel Wood in the north, and Nutchyhill Wood and Langfield Wood south of this. The remaining southern part of the west boundary is the former drive from the south, now a track. The c 100ha site is divided into two unequal parts by the Dacre Beck, which runs north through the site from the west side of Nutchyhill Wood and then turns eastwards and joins the Eamont c 220m south-east of the house.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The gated main entrance is on the west side of the A592, where a drive leads westwards and divides c 70m from the house, one branch leading to the main entrance on the east front of the house and the other curving northwards and turning into the service courtyard. Another entrance is situated at the south-western tip of the site, on the north side of the A592, where a former drive, now a track, runs north-eastwards from the road and continues across the site to a point south of Dacre Beck where it joins with another track across the park. OS maps of 1860 (1st edition) and 1930 show that it ran to join the former line of the A592, which was moved to the east in the C20, at Dacre Bridge. A track from Dacre leads into the site south of Dogkennel Wood and runs east along the outer (northern) edge of the walled garden to the service courtyard on the north side of the house.
Dalemain (listed grade I) is situated slightly north of the centre of the site and originated as a medieval pele tower. There were C16 and C17 alterations, and a major campaign of work was carried out in the late C17 and early C18 by Sir Edward Hasell. The building retains a central courtyard where there are signs of the earlier phases of building, but the principal elevations to the east and south are mid C18 work. Immediately to the north of the house there is a service courtyard with stables and a barn (both listed grade II) and other ancillary buildings, including a range of C18 byres and a dovecote.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The gardens lie on the east and south sides of the house. On the south side of the house a substantial terrace c 150m in length is supported by a buttressed retaining wall which reaches a height of c 4.7m where the drop is the steepest, immediately in front of the house. The terrace, which extends for c 50m to the east of the house, dies away as the land rises. A gravelled walk runs along the south front of the house and alongside a wall (listed grade II), faced with stone to match the main building, which is attached to the west side of the building. The wall backs the terraced walk for a distance of c 40m, at which point it turns northwards and forms the east wall of the walled garden. The terrace continues for a further c 50m to the west along the south side of the walled garden from which it is divided by a border and hedge. It was possibly constructed by Sir Edward Hasell, or it may relate to the mid C18 refronting of the house.
There are views from the terrace of parkland with hills beyond and the Dacre Beck in the mid foreground. Immediately south of the terrace an area of grassland is situated between the beck and the retaining wall. At the west end of the terraced walk a path leads west into the walled garden and at this point it divides, with stone steps leading south down the slope to an area called the Wild Garden which stretches down to the banks of the Dacre Beck and has winding grass paths leading through specimen trees and shrubs. The steps are shown on the large-scale OS map of 1900, which shows the Wild Garden planted with trees and a path leading through them. The 1860 OS map shows it planted with trees, and it is said to be part of a site known as Low Garden Orchard in the C18 (guidebook). Beyond this area to the west, on land sloping down to the south, is a triangular patch of woodland situated immediately west of the walled garden. The woodland is reached from a doorway in the garden's west wall which leads to a path running through the trees. The north side of the area is defined by the drive from Dacre, and the south side is formed by the Dacre Beck. Mature trees partially obscure views of the beck to the south from the path.
The walled garden is in the form of an elongated rectangle and has walls of stone with a flat stone parapet, with the exception of the eastern wall which has an inner face of brick. In the eastern part of the garden, c 70m west of the house, there is a knot garden. The north wall has a number of lean-to glasshouses attached to its eastern end, and a centrally positioned opening leads out to the drive from Dacre. A yew hedge immediately east of the knot garden divides the easternmost section of the garden from the remainder and the enclosed area is used for maintenance and nursery purposes. A door near the north end of the east wall gives access to the service courtyard.
Set in to the north end of the west wall is a seating alcove with a segmental arched head and a fixed bench seat with cabriole front legs, club feet and a back with vase splats, probably of early C18 date. At the south end of the west wall there is a C17 gazebo with pyramidal roof and a ball finial. An offset doorway leads into a room with a large two-light mullioned window in the south wall giving views down to the Dacre Beck, now partially obscured by mature trees. Midway between the seating alcove and the gazebo a doorway in the west wall leads to a path through woodland. The south wall of the garden is lower (c 1.2m) than the other walls on the inner face but acts as a retaining wall, dropping to c 6.5m on the south side.
The garden is currently (1997) planted as a flower and pleasure garden and divided into compartments by paths. It was probably created or altered by Sir Edward Hasell whose Day Book entry for 26 April 1686 reads: 'John Pattinson this day began the wall against the bank in my orchard'. An entry for 15 March 1686 reads: 'I agreed with Mr Pattinson for cleering the earth making foundations and getting stones for my orchard wall'. An orchard was already in existence as an entry for 17 October 1684 refers to an orchard with 'apricock trees', and it is not clear if the work in 1686 is on a new orchard or represents improvements to one which already existed. The years covered by the Day Book were a time of substantial alterations to the house, some of them probably under the direction of a Mr Swingler, but an entry for 22 October 1684 which states that 'Mr Swingler and John Lowther's gardiner dined here' raises the possibility that work to the garden being undertaken during the same period might also have been under the direction of Swingler, perhaps with advice from the gardener.
The east front of the house overlooks a lawn which is terraced at its eastern edge and divided from parkland beyond by railings. The outer face of the service courtyard, which is concealed by a shrubbery, forms the north-western edge of the area.
Parkland surrounds the house. Immediately to the north-west of the service courtyard there is a walled deer park of c 7ha which supports a herd of fallow deer. To the north-east of this is an area called East Park which is open parkland with some scattered mature trees. The land rises steeply to Evening Bank Wood which shelters the northern boundary. Long-distance views of the countryside and fells to the south can be obtained from the northern end of this part of the park and were described by the poet Thomas Gray, who visited in 1769 and described the scene, with mountains rising 'very rude & aweful with their broken tops on either hand' (CL 1952, 733).
The slope of the land is more gentle in the southern part of the park. The A592 was realigned further to the east during the C20 and a bridge, called Dacre Bridge (C18, listed grade II), crosses the river on the line of the old road c 100m south-east of the house. Some 150m south-east of the house the River Eamont was dammed during the C18 to form a lake, south of a footbridge called White Bridge, but erosion of the banks has greatly reduced the width so that the appearance of a lake has been lost. On the eastern banks of the river the land rises and woodland called Grandyscar Wood forms a backdrop to the position of the lake.
The park is used as pasture with some arable cultivation in the southernmost part.
To the north of the walled garden, c 60m north-west of the house and on the north side of the drive from Dacre, there is a sub-rectangular walled garden with low (c 1.2m) walls, which is shown on the 1860 OS map. There is a gated entrance in the east wall. The eastern walls of this garden and the walled garden to the south, flanking the drive to Dacre, give closure to the west side of the service courtyard.
Country Life, 140 (14 March 1952), pp 736-9; (21 March 1952), pp 820-4; (28 March 1952), p 908
N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (1967), pp 117-18
Dalemain, guidebook, (1990 edit)
J Clarke, Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland and Lancashire, 1787
OS 6" to 1 mile: Cumberland sheet LVIII, 1st edition surveyed 1860
Cumberland sheet LVIII SW, published 1930
Cumberland sheet LVIII SW & NE, provisional
edition, revised 1926 with additions 1938
OS 25" to1 mile: Cumberland sheet LVIII, Westmorland sheets III & VII (parts of), 2nd
edition published 1900
Sir Edward Hasell, Day Book (1684-6) (JAC/166), (Carlisle Record Office)
Description written: August 1997
Amended: June 1998
Register Inspector: CEH
Edited: March 1999