Kendal Castle, which was built in the late 12th century, is located on a hill east of the town of Kendal in Cumbria. This castle was the home of the barons of Kendal. The development of Kendal town was hugely influenced by these barons. The best known of these baronial families was the Parr family. However, Katherine Parr, became the most famous member of this family when she became the sixth and last Queen of Henry VIII.
Sadly, the castle fell into a state of disrepair during the Tudor period. One of the towers along with a number of castle walls have survived. However, parts of the Manor Hall, which was the most important building in the castle, have survived – some of these are a considerable height. Under the Hall stands two complete vaults.
In 1897 the Kendal Corporation purchased Castle Hill for public enjoyment and to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This site, which is freely accessible to the public, is now managed by South Lakeland District Council. Castle Hill, which has wonderful views in all directions, is a perfect spot for a picnic. There are easy wooded walks on the lower slopes together with interesting sculptured seats, which were specially commissioned for the site, by Alain Ayers.
Further information about Kendal Castle and the history of Kendal is available at Kendal Museum, where an exhibition and reconstruction of the castle and it’s people are explained.