Discover the story of the Lake District, its past industries and people at Kendal museums. The town is a major cultural centre holding some of the regions most treasured archives. Visit the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in Kendal and explore the natural history of the Lake District within the Kendal Museum, one of Britain’s oldest museums featuring a collection of Alfred Wainwright memorabilia including the fellwalker’s legendary collection of pipes!
Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry
The award winning Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry is a great museum for children with recreated rooms, stories of people from the past and extensive displays on key Lakeland industries including farming, mining, Kendal wool and fine Lakeland lace. The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Lake District is given due attention in displays and there are treasured artefacts on show here linked to famous Lakeland authors and artists including manuscripts, illustrations and souvenirs connected to ‘Swallows and Amazons’ author Arthur Ransome.
See photography of the Lake District from the 1930s to the 1960s featuring in the fascinating Joseph Hardman collection and view historic pieces of Victorian engineering including the Williamson Brothers Vortex Turbine constructed in Kendal in 1856. The museum hosts regular family activities, talks and tours and special events through the year. Temporary exhibitions constantly change, pulling on the museums huge archive, highlighting historic Lakeland themes and subjects.
The natural history of the Lake District and local archaeology and geology around Kendal is explored in-depth at the historic Kendal Museum, one of Britain’s first museums to open and with former honorary curator Alfred Wainwright himself. Housed within a onetime woollen mill, displays in the museum include Mesolithic and Neolithic tools. The Romans settled extensively around Kendal and many Roman artefacts are on display, particularly from nearby Watercrook Fort.
Discover the history of mid-13th century Kendal Castle on Castle Hill at the Kendal Museum with information on Henry VIII’s wife Katherine Parr who spent time here. The walk up to the castle monument rewards with spectacular views of the surrounding fells. A highlight of any visit to the Kendal Museum are the displays on the great fellwalker Alfred Wainwright. Personal items owned by Wainwright on display include his walking jacket, rucksack and his legendary pipes! Great for families, the Kendal Museum offers lots of opportunity for interaction including trying on Roman shoes, making a Medieval tiled floor and more.