Kendal /ˈkɛndəl/, anciently known as Kirkby in
Kendal or Kirkby
Kendal, is a market town and civil parish within the South Lakeland
District of Cumbria, England. Historically in Westmorland, it is
situated about 8 miles (13 km) south-east of Windermere, 19 miles
(31 km) north of Lancaster, 23 miles (37 km) north-east of
Barrow-in-Furness and 38 miles (61 km) north-west of Skipton. The
town lies in the valley or "dale" of the River Kent, from which it
derives its name, and has a total resident population of 28,586,
making it the third largest settlement in
Cumbria behind Carlisle and
Kendal today is known largely as a centre for tourism, as the home of
Kendal mint cake, and as a producer of pipe tobacco and tobacco snuff.
Its buildings, mostly constructed with the local grey limestone, have
earned it the nickname Auld Grey Town.
1.1 Roman fort
Kendal Mint Cake
1.4 Tobacco and snuff
2.1 Civic history
2.2 Parliamentary representation
7 Places of interest
8 Notable people
Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team
11 Twin towns
12 See also
14 External links
Kendal is listed in the
Domesday Book as part of
Yorkshire with the
name Cherchebi. For many centuries it was called Kirkbie Kendal,
meaning "village with a church in the valley of the River Kent". The
earliest castle was a Norman motte and bailey (now located on the west
side of the town) when the settlement went under the name of Kirkbie
A chartered market town, the centre of
Kendal is structured around a
high street with fortified alleyways, known locally as yards, off to
either side which allowed the local population to seek shelter from
the Anglo-Scottish raiding parties known as the Border Reivers. The
main industry in these times was the manufacture of woollen goods, the
importance of which is reflected in the town's coat of arms and in its
Latin motto "Pannus mihi panis", meaning wool (literally 'cloth') is
my bread. "
Kendal Green" was hard-wearing wool-based fabric specific
to the local manufacturing process, and was supposedly sported by the
Kendalian archers who were instrumental in the English victory over
the French at the Battle of Agincourt.
Kendal Green was also worn by
slaves in the Americas, and is mentioned in songs and literature from
Kendal Green was traditionally the colour of clothing worn
by foresters and as such was mentioned by
Shakespeare in Henry IV,
The site of several (ruined) castles, the most recent one constructed
in the late 12th century,
Kendal Castle, has a long history as a
stronghold of one kind or another. It was the castle of the Barony of
Kendal, the part of
Westmorland ruled from here. The castle is best
known for being the home of the Parr family, who represent one of the
lines of heirs of these barons. The Parrs inherited the castle through
marriage during the reign of Edward III of England. Rumours still
circulate that King Henry VIII's sixth wife
Catherine Parr was born at
Kendal Castle, but based on the evidence available this is very
unlikely. By the time Catherine was born the castle was beyond repair
and her father was already based in Blackfriars, London, as a member
of the court of King Henry VIII.
The site of the Roman fort at Watercrook across the River Kent
Main article: Alavana
A Roman fort existed about 2 miles south of the present-day town
centre, at a site known as Watercrook. It was built in about
AD 90, originally as a timber structure, and then rebuilt with
stone in about 130 during the reign of Hadrian. The fort was abandoned
for about 20 years during the Antonine re-occupation of Scotland. It
was then rebuilt during the reign of
Marcus Aurelius and occupied
until roughly 270. That was probably the last time it was held for
military purposes. What remains of the stone structure is now
buried under a field. Many of the Roman artefacts from this site may
be found in the
Kendal museum. The roman site was built on a pre
existing iron age fort.
Early travellers to
Kendal complained of eight miles of "nothing but a
confused mixture of Rockes and Boggs." Riding horseback was the
fastest form of travelling for the road was "no better than the
roughest fell tracks on high ground and spongy, miry tracks in the
vallies." It became evident that it was unjust and beyond the power of
the thinly scattered rural population thereabouts be called upon to
maintain a road used for through traffic. "Whereas the road is very
ruinous, and some parts thereof almost impassable and could not, by
the ordinary course appointed by the Laws then in being for repairing
the highways, be amended and kept in good repair, unless some further
provision was made." In 1703 by Order of the Quarter Sessions of the
Barony of Kendall the surveyors of highways was to make the roads good
and sufficient for the passage of coaches, carts and carriages. In
Keighley and Kendal Turnpike
Keighley and Kendal Turnpike brought the stage coach from
Yorkshire to Kendal.
Kendal Mint Cake
Kendal Mint Cake
Kendal mint cake
Kendal mint cake with chocolate coating
Kendal is known for
Kendal mint cake, a glucose-based type of
confectionery reputedly discovered accidentally by Joseph Wiper during
his search for a clear glacier mint.
Used on numerous expeditions to mountaintops (including Mount Everest
and K2) and both poles of the Earth, its popularity is mainly due to
the very astute decision of the original manufacturer's great-nephew
to market it as an energy food, and to supply Ernest Shackleton's
1914–17 Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
By the time the business was sold to competitor
Romney's in 1987 there
were several rival mint cake producers, many of which are still in
Tobacco and snuff
Snuff production in
Kendal dates from 1792, when Kendalian Thomas
Harrison returned from Glasgow, Scotland, where he had learned the art
of snuff manufacture. He also brought with him 50 tons of second-hand
equipment, all carried on horse back. Pipe tobacco and other tobacco
products were subsequently added to the firm's production. Ownership
of his firm passed eventually to his son-in-law, Samuel Gawith, whose
eponymic firm, Samuel Gawith & Co., continues in business to this
day. Following Samuel Gawith's death in 1865, the firm passed into the
hands of his two eldest sons. During this time the business was
administered initially by trustees, including Henry Hoggarth, and John
Illingworth left the firm in 1867 to start his own firm, which
remained in business until the 1980s. The youngest son of Samuel
Gawith the First subsequently teamed with Henry Hoggarth to form
Gawith Hoggarth TT, Ltd. Both Samuel Gawith & Company and Gawith
Hoggarth TT continue in business today in Kendal, producing snuffs and
tobacco products still used around the world. Samuel Gawith and
Company also hold the distinction of employing the oldest piece of
industrial equipment still in production use in the world, a device
manufactured in the 1750s.
The municipal borough of
Kendal was created in 1835 and until 1894 the
town was also an urban sanitary district. The borough boundaries were
altered in 1935 by gaining a small part of South
District under a County Review Order.
The civil parishes of Kirkland and Nether Graveship were abolished in
1908 and became part of
Kendal Civil Parish whose boundaries were
after that the same as the borough.
Kendal was, from 1888 to 1974, the administrative centre of the
administrative county of
Westmorland although Appleby is the
traditional county town.
The borough of
Kendal was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government
Act 1972 to become a part of
South Lakeland district of Cumbria. The
town was a successor parish, and thus kept its own town council.
Kendal is part of the
Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary
constituency of which
Tim Farron is the current MP representing the
Kendal stands on the River Kent, surrounded by low hills. It is near
(but not in) the Lake District National Park. When the National
Park was formed in 1951 the boundary was deliberately shaped to
exclude Kendal. Although a relatively small town, it
is an important commercial centre for a wide area thanks to its rural
location. It is affectionately referred to as "The Gateway to The
Places adjacent to Kendal
Underbarrow and Bradleyfield
Kendal has a marine west coast climate, category Cfb on the Köppen
Climate Classification. It has moderately warm summers and mild
winters, with precipitation at all times of year. In July and August
the average daily maximum and minimum are 19C and 11C respectively.
The corresponding averages in January and February are 6C and 1C.
Kendal's early prosperity was based largely on cloth manufacture. In
the 19th century it became a centre for the manufacture of snuff and
shoes; the K Shoes company remained a major employer in the town until
its factory closed in 2003. There are still a number of industries
based in the town, such as Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon (manufacturers
of pumps and turbines), James Cropper paper makers (based in Burneside
and who make, at no profit, the paper for the Remembrance poppies for
The Royal British Legion), Mardix (switchgear), Lakeland and Kendal
Nutricare, who have a facility making baby milk in the north of the
town. Tourism is now one of the main employers, but there is also a
significant IT and design sector in the town, enabled by increased
On 26 February 2003
Kendal was granted
Fairtrade Town status.
A bridge over the old course of the Lancaster Canal, now used as a
Kendal railway station
Kendal railway station is situated on the
Windermere Branch Line
Windermere Branch Line and
gives connections to
Windermere railway station
Windermere railway station to the north, and
Oxenholme Lake District railway station (on the West Coast Main Line)
Lancaster railway station
Lancaster railway station to the south.
Kendal is around 8 miles (12 km) from the M6 motorway, and
is bypassed on the west by the A591 road, linking it to Windermere,
Keswick and the A590 leading to Barrow, as well as being the terminus
of the A65 road to Kirkby Lonsdale,
Yorkshire and a
destination on the A6 road to Penrith.
Kendal is signposted off the M6
at Junctions 36 (A65, A590), Junction 37 (A684 road), Junction 38
(A685 road) and Junction 39 (A6). The three-mile £1.9m A591 bypass
opened on 29 August 1971.
Lancaster Canal was built as far as
Kendal in 1819, but the
northern section was rendered unnavigable by the construction of the
M6. Part of this section was also drained and filled in to prevent
leakage, and the course of the canal through
Kendal has now been
developed. The canal towpath, however, remains as a footpath through
Kendal. A campaign is currently underway to restore the canal as far
Kendal is served by a long distance coach service from
per day) and local buses run from the bus station to destinations such
Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster.
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The Queen Katherine School, on Appleby Road, is a secondary school
with academy status. The school also operates a sixth form.
Kendal School, formerly known as
Kendal Grammar School, is a
Business and Enterprise College that serves the area
around the town and rural countryside.
Kirkbie Kendal School operates
as a foundation school with academy status; its previous pupils
include the historian
David Starkey and clinical psychologist Vanessa
Kendal College is a further education college that provides further
and higher education, as well as training for employers. The college
is judged Outstanding by Ofsted, has over 4,000 students and employs
over 150 staff.
There are numerous primary schools in the area, including Castle Park,
Stramongate School, Heron Hill, Ghyllside, Vicarage Park, St Thomas's
and Dean Gibson. In the nearby village of Natland, there is St Mark's
Places of interest
Holy Trinity Church which includes the Parr Chapel and Prayers written
by the hand of Queen Catherine Parr.
Kendal Museum – one of the oldest in the country, it includes
exhibits on area history, culture, archaeology, geology, local and
world natural history, Roman Britain, Ancient Egypt
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Abbot Hall Art Gallery (housed in a Georgian villa), it mounts
nationally important exhibitions, such as David Bomberg: Spirit in the
Mass (17 July – 28 October 2006). Permanent collection includes
George Romney, JMW Turner, John Ruskin, Ben Nicholson, Paula Rego,
Stanley Spencer and Barbara Hepworth.
Museum of Lakeland Life located in the original stables of Abbot Hall,
it contains exhibits on farming life in the Lake District and a
permanent collection of author Arthur Ransome's books and belongings.
Castle Howe, Kendal's undisputed first castle, lies on the hill side
overlooking the town. The earthwork remains are sandwiched between
Gillinggate and Beast Banks
Kendal Castle, to the east of the earthworks, probably built while
Castle Howe was still being used
Friends' Meeting House, home of the Quaker Tapestry
The Brewery Arts Centre (offering theatre, dance, exhibitions,
cinemas, music, workshops, youth drama, dance and food and drink)
Kendal Leisure Centre
Kendal Parish Church
Kendal Parish Church (Holy Trinity)
Lakeland Radio Stadium official football ground of
Kendal Town F.C.
Netherfield Cricket Club Ground – home ground of Netherfield Cricket
Club and Cumberland County Cricket Club
The Queen Katherine Street drill hall where troops were mobilised for
the First World War
An alphabetical list of people born in
Kendal or with significant
Desmond Bagley (1923–1983), thriller writer
Matt Bigland (born 1985), guitarist and lead singer for alternative
rock band Dinosaur Pile-Up.
Jonathan Dodgson Carr
Jonathan Dodgson Carr (died 1884), founder of Carr's breadmakers and
social reform campaigner
Ephraim Chambers (c. 1680–1740), encyclopaedist
Isaac Crewdson (1780–1844), Quaker minister born in Kendal
John Cunliffe (born 1933), children's author, creator of Postman Pat
John Dalton (1766–1844), chemist and physicist
Sir Arthur Eddington (1882–1944), astrophysicist
James Ellison (born 1980) and
Dean Ellison (born 1977), motorcycle
Tim Farron (born 1970), Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP
Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Nicholas Freeston (1907–1978), award-winning Lancashire poet, born
Daniel Gardner (1750–1805), portrait painter
Steven Hall, Britain's Got Talent Finalist 2011, comedy dancer
Steve Hogarth (born 1959), vocalist of rock band Marillion
Francis Nigel Lee
Francis Nigel Lee (1934–2011), theologian
Ken Major (1928–2009), architect, author and molinologist, attended
Caroline Moir (living), author
George Romney (1734–1802), portrait painter
David R. Russell
David R. Russell (1935–2018), antique woodworking tool collector
Keith Stainton (1921–2001), politician and Second World War hero in
David Starkey (born 1945), constitutional historian
Alfred Wainwright (1907–1991), guidebook author and walker
Wild Beasts, indie-rock band
Keith Wilkinson (living), ITV television news reporter
John Wilson (1741–1793), mathematician and astronomer
Yan, Hamilton and Wood of the indie-rock band British Sea Power,
brought up in Natland, a nearby village.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)
Kendal dialect known as Kendalian, is a variant of the Cumbrian
dialect spoken around the
Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)
Kendal has for many years maintained a voluntary mountain search and
rescue team based at Busher Walk. They have performed numerous rescues
Kendal area, and along with other local mountain rescue
teams, helped at the Grayrigg derailment.
Kendal is twinned with:
– Rinteln, Lower Saxony, Germany
– Killarney, County Kerry, Munster, Ireland
Kendal Choral Society
Listed buildings in Kendal
Kendal Mountain Festival
Kendal Town F.C.
^ "Lead Dataset List". statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 22 October
^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place Names, Oxford University
^ Linda Porter. Katherine, the Queen, MacMillan, 2010. pg 21.
^ Esmonde Cleary, A., R. Warner, R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies.
"Places: 89102 (Alone?/Alauna?)". Pleiades. Retrieved 12 February
2013. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ David Shotter. "The Roman fort at Watercrook (Kendal)" (PDF).
^ Being a Relation of a Short Survey of 26 Counties, briefly
describing the Citties and their Scytuations, and the Corporate Towns
and Castles Herein. By a Captaine, a Lieutennt. and an Ancient, All
three of the Military Company at Norwich. British Museum MSS. 34754,
^ Introduction To The Main Roads of Kendale British Historyac.uk.
Accessed 30 September 2012
^ "Tim Farron". theyworkforyou.com.
^ "Lake District National Park area map and South extension area"
(PDF). Lake District National Park Authority. 2016. p. 2.
Retrieved 11 January 2017.
^ "marine west coast climate – climatology". Encyclopædia
Kendal Climate Guide". worldclimateguide.co.uk.
^ "Industries of
Cumbria – Footwear". Cumbria-industries.org.uk. 2
May 2003. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
^ "Meet the Head". Queen Katherine School. Archived from the original
on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
Kendal – Castle Howe
^ "Kendal". The Drill Hall Project. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kendal.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kendal.
Kendal Town Council
The Northern Reaches—Restoration of the canal to Kendal
Ceremonial county of Cumbria
Boroughs or districts
City of Carlisle
Borough of Allerdale
Borough of Barrow-in-Furness
Borough of Copeland
District of Eden
District of South Lakeland
See also: List of civil parishes in Cumbria
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings