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Kendal

"Pannus Mibi Panis" (Wool is our bread) is the ancient motto of Kendal, the southern gateway to the English Lake District. For centuries this was the centre of the region's wool trade. Kendal Green cloth was famous in Shakespeare's day and before. The history of the parish church goes back at least to the thirteenth century although the present building, one of the largest parish churches in England, dates mostly to the 18th century, being unusually wide with its five aisles.

The administrative town of the ancient county of Westmorland (although since 1974 incorporated into the new Cumbria) Kendal has long been a hive of activity. In fact its market charter was granted by King Richard I as far back as 1189.

In the 1950s and 60s before the building of the M6 motorway it became almost impossible to move around, in the summer months especially, as the main A6 North-South road passed through its heart. Also passing through the town is the River Kent, from which the town takes its name.

Kendal may technically be outside the the Lake District National Park but there's no doubt that this is Lakeland. The Abbot Hall gallery and the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry should not be missed by any Lake District enthusiast. Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle are nearby. And let's not forget that Kendal has its own castle on the hill. Kendal Castle is the reputed birthplace of Queen Katherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII.

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