Today Dale Town in Gowerdale is just a sheep and cattle farm but throughout the centuries it has undergone ups and downs in population. It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book. By 1433 twenty two tenants were recorded as living there but a century later there was just one house. This was probably the result of disease and crop failures, a fate of many mediaeval villages. Once we enter the 19th century records are more abundant. John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales was published in 1870-72, it lists Dale Town as having a population of 60 in ten houses. By 1894-5 in The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales the population is now 39. Interestingly Dale Town House, the current farmhouse existed at this time. It dates from the late 18th century and is constructed of sandstone blocks with a pantile roof and many original architectural details.
The two whale backed hills in the distance are Hawnby Hill to the left with a modest height above sea level of 298m and Easterside Hill marginally higher with a 310m contour. Between them on an elevated position above the River Rye is Hawnby.