Kendal Castle

Venue Type & Location

Private Residence

Site Name: Kendal Castle
Location: Kendal
County: Westmorland
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Performance Spaces


Situated on a high ridge overlooking the Kent River, half a mile to the E of Kendal and the main road N from Lancashire.

The castle has been ruinous for centuries but the dry ditch of the moat and sections of the curtain wall, with 4 towers and a rectangular keep, remain on a circular mound.

Entrance was via a gatehouse on the N side.

Performance History

A possible performance venue. Although household accounts for the Parr residences do not survive, there is evidence that William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, patronized players who toured elsewhere. It is possible that they performed at Kendal for their lord.

Current Status

Ruin (with 20th c. repairs) is open to the public daily.

History of the Venue

ca. 1184 Erected probably by Gilbert, son of Roger fitz Reinford.

1215 Forfeited to King John after the barons' rebellion.

1241 Restored to William de Lancaster III.

14th c. Passed by marriage to the de Roos family.

1383 Passed by marriage to the Parr family.

1550s William Parr's Kendal estates forfeited to the Crown during his disgrace but restored soon after.

1566 Castle abandoned.

ca. 1572 Estate passed to the Crown.

late 16th/early 17th c. Ownership obscure.

1667 Sir Francis Anderton acquired the castle from Henry Herbert, Marquess of Worcester.

18th/19th c. Ruinous castle sold to several owners in succession.

1897 Sold to Kendal Corporation by Lady Henry Bentinck and opened to the public.

Record Source

REED Cambridge 1.173

Patrons who owned this venue

Name Dates Titles
Parr, William 1513-1571 Knight , Baron , 17th Earl of , 1st Marquess of

Bibliographic Sources

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Curwen, John F. 'Kendal Castle.' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society ns 8 (1908): 84–94.
Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Np: Npub, nd.
Ferguson, R.S. 'Kendal Castle.' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society os 9 (1886): 178–85.
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Nicolson, Joseph, and Richard Burn. The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 2 vols. London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1777.
Perriam, D.R., and J. Robinson. The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria: An Illustrated Gazetteer and Research Guide. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, es. Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 1998.
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Pevsner, Nikolaus. Cumberland and Westmorland. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth, Midd: Penguin Books, 1967.
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. London: HMSO, 1936.
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