button to main menu  Capper's Topographical Dictionary 1808

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     KENDAL, a market-town and parish in Kendal ward, Westmoreland; it is 22 miles from Lancaster, and 260 fom London, and is sometimes called Kirby in Kendal, that is, a church in a valley, from its being situated in a pleasant valley on the banks of the river Ken; it contains 1394 houses and 6892 inhabitants, viz. 2950 males and 3942 females, of whom 3729 were returned as employed in various trades and manufactures, and 151 in agriculture. The manufactures of cottons, coarse woollens, lindseys, druggetts, worsted stockings, flannels, and serges, are here very considerable, and there are several small manufactories of hardware. Here are seven trading companies, each having their hall, viz. Mercers, Tanners, Glovers, Sheermen, Cordwainers, Taylors, and Pewterers. The church is a large Gothic fabric, divided into five ailes, with a square tower; at the east end are four chapels. North of the church is Abbot Hall, formerly the residence of the abbot of St. Mary's at York. The Ken is crossed from the north by an ancient bridge, and the main street, leading from it, slopes towards the centre of the town, where it joins another principal street, being about one mile long, and of a spacious breadth. The entrance from the south is by another bridge, which makes a short turn into the outskirts of the town, where the street expands, and has a pleasant appearance. A new street has been built from the centre of the town towards the river, and there has lately been erected some very convenient and neat butchers' shambles. Near the church is a free school, connected with Queen's college, Oxford. Here are chapels for Quakers, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. The buildings in general have a handsome appearance, being of limestone covered with blue slate. There are several charitable institutions, and the workhouse is very commodious. On the top of a high hill west of the town are the ruins of a very ancient castle, opposite to which is an artificial cone-shaped mount, called Castle Law hill. In 1788 a handsome obelisk was erected by a subscription of the inhabitants to commemorate the revolution in 1688. The river abounds with salmon and trout, over which there are three bridges, and on the banks live a number of dyers and tanners. By the inland navigation this town has communication with the rivers Mersey, Dee, Ribble, Ouse, Trent, Severn, Humber, Thames, Avon, &c. extending above 500 miles through most of the inland counties. Here are kept the sessions for the barony of Kendal. It has a new house of correction with cells underneath. It is incorporated under a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 24 capital burgesses. Several Roman stations are observable in the neighbourhood. The living is a vicarage, value 92 l. 5 s. in the patronage of Trinty college, Cambridge. - Burn's Westmoreland.
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