‘On the side of a pleasant
vale, about three miles and a half to the south-east of Dalton stand
the ruins of Gleaston Castle, the ancient residence of the lords
of Aldingham’ notes West in his 1805 Gazette.
along a narrow vale, and crossing a murmuring stream, which gives
motion to a mill for grinding corn, a little to the north-east of
the village, it conducts the traveller to a distinct view of the
mouldering ruins of Gleaston Castle’
mill at Gleaston gives a clear picture of what a working mill was
like. It is now a ‘tourist attraction’ with exhibitions,
a shop and a restaurant. Lectures and guided ‘history’
walks are sometimes on offer in the Summer.
Gleaston is variously described as a ‘village’
and a ‘hamlet’; either way it is restful and peacefully
steeped in history; local archeologists sponsored by the Mill have
revealed Bronze Age artefacts and human remains in a local cave
and coinage from the Stuart and Elizabethan period in the surrounding
fields; outlines of the feudal ‘stip system’ are clearly
There are some beautiful houses alongside more modern development.
The once close-knit rural community is now largely gone, replaced
by ‘newcomers’ seeking the country ideal or a second
home for holidays.
The Copper Dog pub offers excellent hospitality to the thirsty adventurer!
The remains of the Old Congregational Church and the
Mission (now a private house) can be clearly seen.
The greater part of Gleaston, the villages of Leece
and Dendron are included in the parochial parish of St.Matthew Dendron.
The village of Leece is built round a tarn. An ancient
village, its appears twice in Domesday Book, one ‘Lies’
in the manor of Hougun held by Earl Tostig, and another ‘Lies’
in the same manor; one is said to have been situated on the coast
and to have been washed away by the sea.
A mile or so seaward are the remains of an artificial
mound called the Moot of Aldingham. Within the same area are the
outlines of the residence of the le Fleming family, the original
Aldingham Hall. Some conjecture that the mound served the same purpose
as Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man. There is considerable evidence
of Viking influences and settlement in the area.
It boasts the grassy remains of a Motte and Bailey castle and probably
served as a site for lighting beacons? Certainly it has a commanding
view over Morecambe Bay.
The question of its origins is compounded by fact and
‘folk tradition’ that great swathes of former lands
are now under the sea, including the major part of Aldingham (some
say a whole village) further along the coast.
The air of mystery and the many ‘finds’
relating to ancient peoples make this a ‘magical place’