Place:Kendal, Westmorland, England

Watchers
NameKendal
Alt namesKirkby-Kendalsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeTown
Coordinates54.333°N 2.75°W
Located inWestmorland, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inCumbria, England     (1974 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Kendal, known earlier 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 south-east of Windermere, north of Lancaster, north-east of Barrow in Furness and 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 Barrow-in-Furness.

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.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

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 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.


Roman fort

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 about 270. That was probably the last time it served military purposes. 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.

Transport

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 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.

Kendal Mint Cake

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.

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