Kendal Castle

(See also Kendal , Kendal Museum , Abbot Hall Art Gallery)

Kendal Castle interior view by Graeme DougalThe 12th century stone ruins of Kendal Castle sit on a hill on the western edge of the town of Kendal. (An earlier motte castle-Castle Howe-was built in 1087 on the other side of town, but it was abandoned in the 13th century.)

The castle was built by the de Lancaster family, barons of Kendal, and was originally of earth and timber construction. It was rebuilt in stone in the late 12th century by Gilbert FitzReinfred, who became the owner through marriage. The castle then passed through several owners, including the Crown. Richard II gave the castle to the well-known Parr family of which Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife, was a member-she married Henry in 1543. The castle was derelict by 1571.

Kendal Castle interior view by Graeme DougalThe castle ruins show no evidence of a keep or a gatehouse. The remains of two towers and some walls still exist. Unfortunately the castle suffered the fate of many neglected buildings-much of its stone was carried away to be used by others for building.

Improper partial restoration obliterated clues as to the original nature of the building. However, it is clear that there was a large hall and kitchens on the left of the gatehouse, and the private apartments and ladies' quarters were on the right.

Kendal view of town from castle courtesy of Graeme DougalOverlooking the town of Kendal, the castle provides views of the Lake District fells and enjoyable walking trails.

Kendal Castle is on Castle Hill at Kendal, off the A6.
Open site.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

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