There is evidence of a settlement at Dalemain in Saxon times. Here the river Eamont, which was the boundary between Cumberland and Westmorland, was fordable while also it is sheltered at this point in the valley where often the worst of the weather will go around Dalemain. A peel tower was built on the site during the reign of King Henry II. The old hall dates back to the 12th century, with wings added in the 16th century.
In 1679, Sir Edward Hasell, who had been steward to Lady Anne Clifford, purchased Dalemain and it has remained in the family since then. On his purchase, the house was substantially altered including a grand staircase. The farmyard was modernised and a retaining wall built below the terrace. The impressive Georgian front was completed by his son in 1744, built to enclose the old house within a central courtyard. These rooms followed an elegant, symmetrical design with neoclassical features. In the new front hall, there is a cantilevered staircase. The garden façade was also rebuilt in 1748 to match the new front. There have been no major alterations since that time. The courtyard evolved over the centuries from a mediaeval hamlet, built for defensive reasons, immediately surrounding the original Pele tower to the more recognisable historic farm buildings. Above the courtyard lies the Deer Park holding a herd of fallow deer unchanged for hundreds of years.
The gardens have echoes of different fashions in gardening. This includes the Elizabethan knot garden; the surrounding landscaped parkland with glorious views out to the High Fells; the herbaceous terrace; and the wild garden drawing from the work of William Robinson. This is a plantsman's garden with an extraordinary breadth and depth of plant varieties. There is a very good collection of roses; a timeline of apple trees; the magnificent Silver Fir Abies Cephalonica which has the largest girth in the UK which had been a gift from Joseph Banks, the botanist, in the 1840s; and the Hymalayan blue poppies Mecanopsis grandis Dalemain. In the Spring there are carpets of snow drops, aconites and later daffodils. Yet, this is also a garden for imagination – there is a box topiarised dragon; a sleeping earth giant; or, through a door from the light formal garden, Lob’s Wood leafy green with beech trees. Dalemain won the Garden of the Year Award, sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christie's, in 2013.
The writer and literary reviewer Elizabeth Julia Hasell lived there. Eva Hasell was born here in 1886. Her parents were Frances Maud (born Flood) and John Edward Hasell JP DL and she was brought up at Dalemain. She became a missionary to Canada and a strong supporter of the church and the British Empire.
The World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival
Founded in 2005 the World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival held in March each year at Dalemain have become an landmark culinary event. Entries are sent in from all over the world including Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and Lebanon. The event has raised nearly £250,000 over the years for local charity Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, and for palliative care both in the UK and overseas.
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- Wilkins, Frances (2003). The Hasells of Dalemain: a Cumberland family (1736-1794). Wyre Forest Press. ISBN 1-897725-17-5. OCLC 52456393.
- Historic England. "Dalemain (1000663)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Dalemain House wins Garden of the Year 2013". The Telegraph. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Norman Moore, ‘Hasell, Elizabeth Julia (1830–1887)’, rev. Richard Smail, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 9 Jan 2015
- Pottle, Mark (2004). "Hasell, (Frances Hatton) Eva (1886–1974), traveller and missionary". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57177. Retrieved 30 October 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Garnett, Rachel (12 December 2018). "Marmalade makers raise £22,000 for hospice care in Cumbria". The Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "2017 Marmalade Awards WINNERS announced". 18 March 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
- "The Marmalade Awards Launched at the Embassy of Japan". Dalemain. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
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