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Kendal Castle

Kendal Castle dates from the 1200s, but has been in disrepair since the 1600s. It stands atop a ridge to the east of Kendal town centre and can be seen from many places in and around the town. As a native of Kendal I spent many childhood days clambering around the walls and remnants of its former glory, keeping the Scots marauding the town at bay, although there's no record of the castle itself ever having to be defended against their assaults.

Kendal Castle dates from the 1200s, but has been in disrepair since the 1600s. It stands atop a ridge to the east of Kendal town centre and can be seen from many places in and around the town. As a native of Kendal I spent many childhood days clambering around the walls and remnants of its former glory, keeping the Scots marauding the town at bay, although there’s no record of the castle itself ever having to be defended against their assaults.

The castle hill affords brilliant views over the town and the surrounding fells, but try to keep your gaze above the town’s civic amenity site skips at its foot. Don’t be put off though, it doesn’t spoil the view. Built as the seat for the barons of Kendal, the castle was later granted to the Parr family by Richard II. In the town’s loftiest claim to historical fame Catherine (or Katherine) Parr is reputed to have been born there around 1512, and ultimately went on to greater things than mere small-town baronial extravagance in the windy north country. On 12 July 1543 she married for the third time, this time at Hampton Court Palace as the sixth, last, and only surviving wife of Henry VIII, the gout-afflicted, wife-beheading, church-reforming King of England. I guess Catherine had the last laugh there. Access to the castle is free, and requires a short but steep pull uphill away from the town. It can be approached from several directions, in my opinion the best being across the river from Abbot Hall park and up Parr Street. Once there what remains of the walls, tower, hall and vaults is briefly explained on a series of information boards. There is a moat, but it’s dry and full of nettles. Recent additions include stepped access to the tower and hall, some sculpted stone seats and a beacon. The castle also hosts the town’s annual Guy Fawkes night firework display, a spectacular event set against its imposing backdrop.

http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/display.var.653752.0.0.php

written by grimbyname

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