Kendal, once Kirkby in Kendal or Kirkby Kendal, is a market village and civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. Historically in Westmorland, it lies some 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, in the valley (dale) of the River Kent, from which comes its name. The 2011 census counted a population of 28,586.[2] making it the third largest settlement in Cumbria after Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. Kendal today is known mainly 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 in the local grey limestone, have earned it the nickname "Auld Grey Town".

  • Auld Grey Town
Kendal roofscape

View over the rooftops of Kendal
Kendal is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population28,586 (2011)
OS grid referenceSD5192
• London223 miles (358.9 km) SSE
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townKENDAL
Postcode districtLA8, LA9
Dialling code01539
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament


Kendal is listed in the Domesday Book as part of Yorkshire with the name Cherchebi.[3] 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 Strickland.

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 raiders known as the Border Reivers. The main industry in those times was the manufacture of woollen goods, whose importance is reflected in the town's coat of arms and in its Latin motto Pannus mihi panis, meaning "cloth is my bread." "Kendal Green" was a hard-wearing wool-based fabric specific to the local manufacturing process. It 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 that time. It is noted by Shakespeare as the colour of clothing worn by foresters (Henry IV, Part 1).

Kendal Castle has a long history as a stronghold, built on the site of several successive ruined castles, the most recent being from the late 12th century. It was the castle of the Barony of Kendal, the part of Westmoreland ruled from here. The castle is best known as the home of the Parr family, who represent one of the lines of heirs of these barons. The Parrs inherited the castle through marriage, in 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 unlikely: by the time Catherine was born, the castle was beyond repair and her father was already based in Blackfriars, London, at the court of King Henry VIII.[4]

Watercrook Farm and the River Kent
The site of the Roman fort at Watercrook across the River Kent

Roman fort

A Roman fort existed about 2 miles south of the present-day town centre, at a site known as Watercrook.[5] 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 about 270. That was probably the last time it served military purposes.[6] What remains of the stone structure is now buried under a field. Many of the Roman artefacts from the 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."[7] 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 to 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 1753 The Keighley and Kendal Turnpike brought the stage coach from Yorkshire to Kendal.[8]

Kendal Mint Cake

Kendal mint cake modified
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 1914–1917 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 business.

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 Thomas Illingworth.

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.


Civic history

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 under a County Review Order to include a small part of South Westmorland Rural District.

The civil parishes of Kirkland and Nether Graveship became in 1908 part of Kendal Civil Parish, whose boundaries thereafter were the same as the borough's. From 1888 to 1974, Kendal was the centre of the administrative county of Westmorland, although Appleby was the traditional county town.

The borough of Kendal was abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, becoming part of the South Lakeland district of Cumbria. The town was a successor parish, and so kept its own town council.

Parliamentary representation

Kendal is part of the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency, of which Tim Farron is the current MP representing the Liberal Democrats.[9]


Kendal stands on the River Kent, surrounded by low hills. It is near, but not in the Lake District National Park formed in 1951,[10] which was shaped to exclude the town. Although relatively small, its rural location makes it an important commercial centre for a wide area. It is sometimes dubbed "The Gateway to The Lakes".


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.[11][12]


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.[13] 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[14]), 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 broadband availability.

On 26 February 2003 Kendal was granted Fairtrade Town status.


Turning bridge Kendal
A bridge over the old course of the Lancaster Canal, now used as a footpath

Kendal railway station is situated on the Windermere Branch Line and gives connections to Windermere railway station to the north, and Oxenholme Lake District railway station (on the West Coast Main Line) and 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, Skipton and 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.

The 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 as Kendal.

Kendal has a daily coach service to London. Local buses from the bus station serve destinations such as Ambleside, Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster.


The Queen Katherine School, on Appleby Road, is a secondary school with academy status. The school also has a sixth form.[15]

Kirkbie Kendal School, formerly Kendal Grammar School, is a secondary school Business and Enterprise College that serves the area around the town and rural countryside. It operates as a foundation school with academy status; its previous pupils include the historian David Starkey[16] and clinical psychologist Vanessa Jones.

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 School.


The town has a rugby union club, Kendal RUFC, that play in the 6th tier of the English rugby union system, with home games played at the 3,500 capacity Mint Bridge Stadium.

Places of interest

Holy Trinity Church, Kendal (6947)
Holy Trinity Church which includes the Parr Chapel and Prayers written by the hand of Queen Catherine Parr.
Kendal Castle at sunset
Kendal Castle

Notable people

Local dialect

The Kendal dialect, known as Kendalian, is a variant of the Cumbrian dialect spoken locally.

Search and rescue

Kendal has long maintained a voluntary mountain search and rescue team based at Busher Walk. Its members have performed numerous rescues in the Kendal area, and along with other local mountain rescue teams helped at the Grayrigg derailment in February 2007.

The Kendal Mountain Rescue Team is one of ten current mountain rescue teams that joined with Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit to form part of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, an Cumbrian umbrella organisation.[19][20]

Twin towns

Kendal is twinned with:[21]

Freedom of the Town

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Town of Kendal:


Military Units


See also


  1. ^, Designworks –. "Kendal Village Council – Home – Old Market Village, Lake District – Kendal, Cumbria, UK". Kendal Town Council. Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Lead Dataset List". Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  3. ^ Mills, A. D., Dictionary of English Place Names, Oxford University Press, 1998.
  4. ^ Linda Porter. Katherine, the Queen, MacMillan, 2010. p. 21.
  5. ^ Esmonde Cleary, A., R. Warner, R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 89102 (Alone?/Alauna?)". Pleiades. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ David Shotter. "The Roman fort at Watercrook (Kendal)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2015.
  7. ^ 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 Lieuten[a]nt. and an Ancient, All three of the Military Company at Norwich. British Museum MSS. 34754, pp.19–20.
  8. ^ Introduction To The Main Roads of Kendale Archived 7 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine British History. Accessed 30 September 2012
  9. ^ "Tim Farron". Archived from the original on 1 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Lake District National Park area map and South extension area" (PDF). Lake District National Park Authority. 2016. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  11. ^ "marine west coast climate – climatology". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Kendal Climate Guide". Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Industries of Cumbria – Footwear". 2 May 2003. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  14. ^ White, Anna (24 May 2014). "Meet the company behind our Remembrance poppies". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Meet the Head". Queen Katherine School. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  16. ^ "David Starkey: Laughing all the way to the library". 8 March 2002. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Kendal – Castle Howe – Visit Cumbria". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Kendal". The Drill Hall Project. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^, LDSAMRA webmaster,. "LDSAMRA - Home page". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Town Twinning". Kendal Town Council. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  22. ^

External links

1913 Kendal by-election

The Kendal by-election was a Parliamentary by-election. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.

2018 South Lakeland District Council election

The 2018 South Lakeland District Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria, England. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 2016, these major changes to boundaries were recommended by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)


2019 South Lakeland District Council election

The 2019 South Lakeland District Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect members of South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria, England. One third of the council was up for election.


Cumbria ( KUM-bree-ə) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, and the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the southwestern tip of the county.

The county of Cumbria consists of six districts (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland) and in 2008 had a population of just under 500,000 people. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi).

Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, and is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.

Cumbria is predominantly rural and contains the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of England's finest areas of natural beauty, serving as inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians. A large area of the southeast of the county is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park while the east of the county fringes the North Pennines AONB. Much of Cumbria is mountainous, and it contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level, with Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet (978 m) being the highest point of England. An upland, coastal, and rural area, Cumbria's history is characterised by invasions, migration, and settlement, as well as battles and skirmishes between the English and the Scots. Notable historic sites in Cumbria include Carlisle Castle, Furness Abbey, Hardknott Roman Fort, Brough Castle and Hadrian's Wall (also a World Heritage Site).

Cumbria Constabulary

Cumbria Constabulary is the territorial police force in England covering Cumbria. As of September 2017, the force had 1,108 police officers, 535 police staff, 93 police community support officers, 25 designated officers and 86 special constables. In terms of officer numbers, it is the 7th smallest of the 48 police forces of the United Kingdom. Conversely, its geographic area of responsibility is the 7th largest police area of a territorial police force in the United Kingdom (when including Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland). The force area's size and its population of just under 500,000 people makes it sparsely populated. The only major urban areas are Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.

There are significant areas of isolated and rural community, and the county has one of the smallest visible minority ethnic populations in the country at under 3.0%. Each year Cumbria, which incorporates the Lake District National Park, attracts over 23 million visitors from all over the world (46 times the local population). The county has 67 miles (108 km) of motorway and some 700 miles (1,100 km) of trunk and primary roads.

The Chief Constable is Michelle Skeer. The headquarters of the force are at Carleton Hall, Penrith.

Ephraim Chambers

Ephraim Chambers (c.1680 – 15 May 1740) was an English writer and encyclopaedist, who is primarily known for producing the Cyclopaedia, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.

Felicity Kendal

Felicity Ann Kendal (born 25 September 1946) is an English actress, working in television and theatre. She has appeared in numerous stage and screen roles over a 45-year career, but the role that brought attention to her career was that of Barbara Good in the 1975 television series The Good Life.

Kendal, Jamaica

Kendal is a small town in the centre of Jamaica, located in Manchester Parish.

Kendal, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad

Kendal (Persian: كندل‎) is a village in Dehdasht-e Sharqi Rural District, in the Central District of Kohgiluyeh County, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 136, in 26 families.

Kendal College

Kendal College is a further education college situated in Kendal on the edge of the Lake District National Park. The College provides a range of training and education programmes, including Further Education, Higher Education and training courses to support local employers, as well as more diverse work such as hospitality consultancy for Cambridge University.The College has over 4,000 students and employs over 150 staff.

In the College's last full Ofsted Inspection in 2017, it was graded Good.The College is a partner of the University of Cumbria and University of Central Lancashire and delivers a range of Higher Education courses, including Foundation Degrees and teaching qualifications.The College consists of two campuses, the Main Site on Milnthorpe Road at the South side of Kendal and the Arts and Media Campus at the North end of the town.

On 15 May 2008 the College officially opened its £12.9 million new build project on the college's main site. The new build is the first capital development that the college has embarked on since the main campus was originally constructed in 1971. On 20 May 2009 the new build was shortlisted for the Learning and Skills Council / Royal Institute of British Architects Further Education Design Excellence Awards 2009. The College won the 2009 SCALA Civic Building of the Year Award.

The Arts and Media Campus comprises the Allen Building where creative and expressive arts are taught; Wildman Studios where arts courses are taught; Kendal Museum, which is managed by the College as part of a 10-year agreement with South Lakeland District Council; The Box, a 120-seat, performance venue for drama and technical theatre students; and Castle Dairy, a 14th-century Grade 1 Listed building, which has been renovated for use as an art gallery and cafe, staffed by Kendal College hospitality and catering apprentices and officially opened on 18 October 2011 by Davie Starkey.The College also manages Kendal Museum as part of a 10-year partnership agreement with South Lakeland District Council.

Kendal Town F.C.

Kendal Town Football Club is a football club based in Kendal, Cumbria, England. The club are currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One North West and play at Parkside Road.


Kendals was the name mostly used by Mancunians of a department store in Manchester, England now operated as House of Fraser. The store had previously been known during its operation as Kendal Milne, Kendal, Milne & Co, Kendal, Milne & Faulkner, Harrods or Watts.

Lancaster Canal

The Lancaster Canal is a canal in North West England, originally planned to run from Westhoughton in Lancashire to Kendal in south Cumbria (historically in Westmorland). The section around the crossing of the River Ribble was never completed, and much of the southern end leased to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, of which it is now generally considered part.

Of the canal north of Preston, only the section from Preston to Tewitfield near Carnforth in Lancashire is currently open to navigation for 42 miles (67.6 km), with the canal north of Tewitfield having been severed in three places by the construction of the M6 motorway, and by the A590 road near Kendal. The southern part, from Johnson's Hillock to Aspull, remains navigable as part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The planned continuation to Westhoughton was never built.

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Cumbria

The county of Cumbria,

is divided into 6 Parliamentary constituencies

- 1 Borough constituency for the City of Carlisle

and 5 County constituencies.

Persik Kendal

Persik stands for Persatuan Sepakbola Indonesia Kendal is an Indonesian football club based in Kendal, Central Java. The club played in Liga 3.


Stefan Kendal Gordy (born September 3, 1975), better known by his stage name Redfoo, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer and DJ best known for being part of the musical duo LMFAO, and for their hit song, "Party Rock Anthem." Redfoo formed the duo with his nephew, Sky Blu, in 2006. They released two studio albums before Redfoo went solo in 2013. He is the youngest son of Motown Record Corporation founder Berry Gordy, Jr.

South Lakeland

South Lakeland is a local government district in Cumbria, England. The population of the non-metropolitan district at the 2011 Census was 103,658. Its council is based in Kendal. It includes much of the Lake District as well as northwestern parts of the Yorkshire Dales.

The district was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It was formed from the Kendal borough, Windermere urban district, most of Lakes urban district, South Westmorland Rural District, from Westmorland, Grange and Ulverston urban districts and North Lonsdale Rural District from Lancashire, and Sedbergh Rural District from the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Wavell Wakefield, 1st Baron Wakefield of Kendal

William Wavell Wakefield, 1st Baron Wakefield of Kendal (10 March 1898 – 12 August 1983), known as Sir Wavell Wakefield between 1944 and 1963, was an English rugby union player for Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and England, President of the Rugby Football Union and Conservative politician.


Westmorland (; formerly also spelt Westmoreland; even older spellings are Westmerland and Westmereland) is a historic county in north west England. It formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1974, after which the whole county was administered by the new administrative county of Cumbria. In 2013, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Westmorland.

Places adjacent to Kendal
Boroughs or districts
Major settlements

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