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Dalton is mentioned in the Doomsday Book as Daltune, the ancient settlement of Dalton, was, in medieval times, the capital of Furness. The Abbot of Furness held a market and fair in Dalton and built a castle in the town during the 14thC to serve as both a courtroom and a gaol. Today, Dalton Castle is owned by the National Trust. In more recent times the town has become home to exotic species from across the world at South Lakes Wild Animal Park - Europe's top tiger conservation centre.George Romney, 1734-1802, a well-known portrait painter, was born in Dalton and is buried in the churchyard. Examples of his work are in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery at Kendal.