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Location of parish on undated map by William Mackenzie, scanned by Sarah Reveley.Area around the parish on undated map by William Mackenzie, scanned by Sarah Reveley.There were 15 townships that later became separate parishes:  Kendal, Helsington, Natland, New Hutton, Old Hutton, Grayrigg, Selside, Burneshead, Long SleddaleKentmere, Crook, Winster, Staveley, Ings  [Hugill], and Underbarrow.

It formerly even included Windermere and Grasmere.

Description & Travel

Nicolson and Burn:
The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. 1777. Transcribed by Anne Nichols.

"The parish of Kirkby in Kendale is very extensive, comprehanding 24 townships or constablewicks, viz. Kendal, Helsington,, Natland , Scalthwaite Rigg (including Hay and Hutton in the Hay), New Hutton , Old Hutton  and Holme Scales, Docker, Lambrigg, Grayrigg , Whinfell, Fawcet Forest, Whitwell and Selside , Slelsmergh and Patton, Burmeshead  , Strickland Roger, Strickland Ketel, Long Sleddale  , Kentmere , Crook  , Winster, Over Staveley, Nether Staveley, Hugill, Underbarrow and Bradley Field; and some of these, for convenience, have been subdivided:- And 15 chapelries, viz. Kendal, Helsington, Natland, New Hutton, Old Hutton, Grayrigg, Selside, Burneshead, Long Sleddale, Kentmere, Crook, Winster, Staveley, Ings [Hugill], and Underbarrow.
This parish was anciently larger; for
Windermere and Gresmere were parts thereof, though now they have obtained by reputation the name of distinct parishes, and are the only rectories within the barony of Kendale.
It is bounded on the East by the parishes of Shap, Orton, Sedberg, and Kirkby Lonsdale; on the South, by the parishes of Kirkby Lonsdale, Burton, and Heversham; on the West, by the parishes of Heversham and Windermere; and on the North, by the parishes of Windermere, Gresmere, and Orton.

The church of Kendal stands in Kirkland, from whence the place hath received its name. It is a very large, neat, and handsome building, and contains every Sunday as large a congregation, as almost any parish church in the kingdom. It is 180 feet long, and 99 feet in breadth; with five alleys, each of them being parted by a row of 8 fair pillars; and with a strong square steeple, wherein there are 6 large and very tunable bells.
It is a vicarage, in the patronage of Trinity college in Cambridge

Helsington [is] below Kendal, on the West side of the river Kent.

Advancing Eastward from Helsington, we come to Natland, which is a small manor or lordship, containing only about 30 families [in 1777]. It seems to have had its name from the Nativi or bondmen probably placed there, as attendent upon the capital lord at Kendal castle to do servile offices, like as the inhabitants of Bongate nigh Appleby, or the Drengage tenants nigh Brougham castle. The chapelry also of Natland is commensurate to the manor.

Old Hutton, New Hutton, and Holme Scales... At first there was only one general name of Hutton. The distinction between Old and New Hutton seems to have come in about the beginning of the reign of king Edward the first [c.1272]. Holme Scales is in the parish of Burton; being, as the name imports, scales or huts belonging to Holme in that parish. But for the sake of vicinity and convenience, Holme Scales hath for a long time been annexed to Old Hutton, and is now deemed part of that township or constablewick.

Docker.. this place claims, and in some respects exerciseth, a privilege of exemption from ecclesiastical jursidiction; but by whom, or in what instances, the same hath been granted, we have not found.

Lambrigg... This perhaps might be the place to which they carried their lambs at certain seasons. For many places received their name of distinction from such like circumstances; as Sheepshead, Ramsbottom, Ewbank, Stirkland, Cowbrow, Oxenholme, and the like.

Dillaker... Adjoining to lambrigg on the East, is the hamlet of Dillaker; of which we have met with no particular account.

Grayrigg... Having now advanced to the Eastern extremity of the parish of Kendal, we incline Northwards to the manor of Grayrigg; so called probably from being frequented by badgers, brocks, or grays; as on the east side of the river Lune, opposite thereto, is a place which yet bears the name of Brockholes. The hollow between is called Grayrigg-hause, from haustus perhaps, which signifies a draught; even as yet a throat or gulley is by the common people called a hause. There is a meeting-house in Grayrigg belonging to the Quakers.

Whinfell... From Grayrigg, travelling northwards, along the eastern extremity of the parish, we come to Whinfell; which carries its own derivation along with it.

Fawcet Forest...Pursuing our course northwards, we come to Fawcet Forest, at the utmost extremity of the parish towards the east and north. It was anciently called Fauside. It is within the chapelry of Selside.Whitwell and Selside... Inclining westward, we come to Whitwell and Selside, which though separate divisions, yet make but one constablewick, and seem to have been originally but one manor. When they were first separated doth not appear.

Skelsmergh and Patton... Skelsmergh and Patton are one constablewick, but they have been separate divisions for a long time. There was heretofore a chapel in Skelsmergh, dedicated to St. John Baptist; with the stream of a well, called St. John's well, running through it from East to West.

Burneshead... This name is variously written in ancient time, but most commonly Burneshead, and seems intended to signify the head of the burn or river which springs a little above in Kentmere. The chapel of Burneshead is common to Burneshead, Strickland Roger, and Strickland Ketel. To what saint it was dedicated, we have not certainly found. There is a well called the Miller's, formerly St. Oswald's well, about 30 yards north-east from the chapel, which probably leads to the name of the tutelar saint

Strickland Roger and Strickland Ketel... Strickland anciently was always written Stirkland, being no other than the pasture ground of the stirks or steers and other young cattle.

Long Sleddale... The chapel stands about the middle of the dale, and was made parochial... in 1712. Sleddale Beck, commonly called Spret, springs up in Wrangdale- head in this dale (a place famous for fine blue slate got there), runs southward all along the dale on the west side of the chapel and Ubarrow Hall, from thence on the east side of Burneshead Hall, and about half a mile below falls into the river Kent.Kentmere... This place hath its name from the river Kent, which springs there, and from a mere or lake therein called Kentmere; which river gives name not only to this particular district, but to all the south-west part of this county, called Kendale. It springs about 3 miles north from the chapel, and from thence runs southward through Kentmere, Staveley, Strickland, the township of Kendal, by Natland, Helsington, Levins, and from thence into the sea. It receives in its course two small rivers, Sprit and Mint. The former springs in Long Sleddale , and runs in at Burneshead. The other springs in Fawcet Forest, and its course meets with Grayrigg water which springs above the hall, and falls into Kent about a mile above Kendal. Kentmere is bounded on the East by the chapelry of Long Sleddale, on the South by the chapelries of Staveley and Ings, on the West by the top of Garburne Fell, and on the North by Patterdale in the parish of Barton and Mardale in the parish of Shap.

Staveley and Hugill... Having now advanced to the furthest extremity of the parish towards the north-west, we turn southwards to Staveley and Hugill. Staveley and Hugill are bounded on the east by Long Sleddale, being divided therefrom by the ridge of Potter Fell; on the south by Underbarrow, being divided by the top of Ratherhead; on the west by Crook, being divided by the ridge of Brackenthwait Fell; and on the north by Kentmere, being divided by Blackbeck which runs by Milrigg. The chapel of Staveley is a fair building, with a handsome steeple and three good bells. To what saint it was dedicated is not certain: From the inscription on one of the bells, it seems to have been St. Margaret. Staveley and Hugill were originally one chapelry. But afterwards a separate chapel was erected at Ings in Hugill, so called from a long Ing or watery meadow, at the head of which it stands. As Grasgarth there was anciently a chapel called St. Anne's, about a quarter of a mile north-west from the present chapel of Ings.

Crook and Winster... These two, in like manner as Staveley and Ings, were originally one chapelry; but now they are two distinct chapelries. The chapel of Crook is a fair building, with a tower steeple, and one bell. Winster, though it is in the parish of Kendal, yet is said to be in the constablewick of Undermilbeck in the parish of Windermere. The chapelry of Winster was anciently a part of the chapelry of Crook. This place gives name to the rivulet called Winster Beck; which almost from head to foot divides Westmorland from Lancashire.
Underbarrow and Bradley Field... This is the last division that remains to be spoken of in the parish of Kendal. Underbarrow hath its name from its situation under the barrow, hill, or scar, which extends from north to south all along in this division. That part which is called Bradley Field received its denomination from a family of the name of Bradley, which came from Bradley in Lancashire. There was an ancient chapel at this place [Underbarrow]. In the year 1708, this chapel was rebuilt at the expence of the inhabitants of Underbarrow only (for Bradley Field is not in the chapelry). "


M.I.s for Kendal were transcribed in Monumental Inscriptions of Westmorland by E. Bellasis 1888-89 and are available on Westmorland Papers.


Returns survive for the 'census' of 1787 for Stricklandgate only and are held at the Kendal Record Office of Cumbria Archives Service. The Record Office reference is WQ/SP/C. They are transcribed in Vital Statistics published by Curwen Archives Trust.

Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911.

Church History

Holy Trinity.
Click for full-size image on Geograph: SD5192 : Holy Trinity Church - rear .© Copyright Peter Turner and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.  
Peter Turner licensed under Creative Commons

 Impressive 5-aisled church possibly widest in country. Includes C13th arcade. Also C15, 16 and 19th work. Oldest feature is C9th cross-shaft. C15th black marble font.