Kendal Castle

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Kendal Castle is a medieval fortification to the east of the town of Kendal, Cumbria, in northern England. The castle, which is atop a glacial drumlin, was built in the 12th century as the Caput baroniae for the Barony of Kendal. By the 15th century, the Parr family owned the castle. Queen Catherine Parr was once thought to have been born at the castle; however, modern research has shown that it was in great disrepair by the 16th century and she was most likely born in Blackfriars, London.[1][2]

Kendal Castle looking south, with the town of Kendal visible behind.


The castle was built in the late 12th century as the home of the Lancaster family who were Barons of Kendal. The best-known family associated with the castle was the Parr family; including Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII of England. Her family had lived at Kendal since her ancestor Sir William Parr married the heiress of Kendal, Elizabeth Ros, during the reign of Edward III of England. By the time Catherine Parr was born, the family had long deserted the castle which was already falling into disrepair. Catherine's father preferred to live in the centre of court in London. Sir Thomas's father seems to be the last of the Parrs to have lived at Kendal Castle.[3]

The building has been a ruin since Tudor times but imposing stonework remains are still present.

The two remaining significant ruins of Kendal Castle. In the foreground is part of the walls of the old manor hall, while the only surviving tower of the castle is visible rear left.


The site is freely accessible to the public. It is managed by the South Lakeland District Council.



  1. ^ Farrer, William; Curwen, John F., eds. (1923). "Kirkby in Kendale: 1453–1530". Records relating to the Barony of Kendale. 1. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. Record series. IV. p. 54.
  2. ^ James, Susan (2009). Catherine Parr: Henry VIII's Last Love (hardback). Stroud: The History Press. pp. 60–63. ISBN 075244591X.
  3. ^ Linda Porter. Katherine, the Queen, Macmillan, 2010; p. 21.
  • Fry P.S. (1980). The David & Charles Book of Castles. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3.

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Coordinates: 54°19′30″N 2°44′11″W / 54.32492°N 2.73644°W / 54.32492; -2.73644