The Great Storm of 1839 was a huge storm which hit Britain in January 1839, and caused severe damage to property and several deaths. It was the worst storm in Northern England for years.
Dr Dawson was away in Liverpool but his wife was at home in Wray Cottage and she and her servants tried to secure the house. Next morning though the cottage was badly damaged and while the property was repaired the Dawsons set about to move to something larger; they had a castle built in Gothic Revival style.
The castle was designed by architects John Jackson Lightfoot and Henry Horner and took 7 years to complete.
Over the next 10 years the Dawsons built a gate house lodge, a church and boat houses. They had a lovely estate by the lake.