Building & History

Crown Court House is situated bang in the middle of Dalton-in-Furness, the ancient captitol of the Furness Peninsula. Dalton itself enjoys a handy location, close to some of the many and varied local attractions, including; the world famous wildlife park, Furness Abbey and, of course, the Lake District.

We can be found in an imposing building (that used to be the old Police Station as above) right on the main street which is perfect for a meal or snack as you go on your way.

What was once a place for criminals and convicts, the old court house and police station is now home to a coffee bar and restaurant! The building itself dates from 1879 when it was originally built as a County Police Station & Court House fully equipped with Cells and a mortuary. the old court house and police station has seen many cases of drunkenness, assault and gambling dating back to over 120 years ago in the then busy mining town of Dalton. It served the community well, from it’s early days until the last case was heard at the court for a betting offence in October 1928.

In the years since it has been used among other things as a supermarket, accountants, launderette, video rental shop, flats and of course a home to Dalton’s pigeon community!

The building almost went into dereliction and was an eyesore for some time until Tim Bell passed it one day — he immediately saw the potential, bought the building & set about restoring it. He was able to save or reproduce many original features and the building is a testimony to his attention to detail.

It has taken almost 4 years to renovate the ground floor into a fully equipped Coffee Bar with facilities and state-of-the-art catering equipment that would be the envy of many.

Crown Court House goes from strength to strength. With the newly opened restaurant serving evening meals, and work soon to begin on the next phase of renovation on the upper floors there is only one thing to say — the only way is up!

Click to download our full PDF brochure (sorry, it’s quite big – about 8mb, and you’ll need Adobe Reader or similar to open it): 2010 Brochure CCH

A poem by Barbara White




It was the Ancient capital of Furness and is a Royal Charter town,

There is a castle and a cross and the oldest market place around.

Dalton suffered much hardship, poverty and the plague,

Beside the parish church, a plaque marks their graves.


Things improved in the 1840s when iron ore was found,

When people came in droves from many miles around,

As shafts were sunk and pits established, the ore was taken away,

But the work was hard and dangerous, and very poorly paid.


Drinking, gambling and wife beating was starting to increase,

So Sergeant Smith kept law and order from his station on Nelson Street.

Ulverston magistrates were busy because the mining community had grown,

Dalton needed a County police station and courts of their own.


Plans were drawn up and they worked hard until the masterpiece was complete,

To become the most elegant building, standing in Market Street.

Made from white stone, with police houses, a court room and cells,

It was officially opened by Col. Moorson, Sir John Hibbert and John Fell.


Inspector Murphy was in charge, Constable Wendell was newly transferred,

Sadly thirty years later the last court cases were heard.

For another 40 years it was a police station, till the death knell tolled

Another building had been constructed, round the corner on Station Rd.


A succession of tenants then occupied that architectural delight,

Eventually the doors were locked and it became derelict overnight.

That lovely building fell into disrepair and became a sorry sight,

And like the bygone prisoners, pigeons lodged there every night.

Then a knight in charming amour, a man by the name of Tim,

Bought the magnificent station and brought the workmen in.

Then one day “the eagle landed” to look down on all who pass,

So once again the Old Police Station is showing signs of class.


Barbara White – 1978

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