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The population of the whole parish, in 1841, amounted to 18,027, of which number 10,225 were returned for its capital, the large and opulent town of This parish, though still so extensive and populous, was anciently much larger, for it included both Windermere and Grasmere, which have long been separate parishes, and are now the only rectories in the KENDAL, the largest and most important town in Westmorland, and the capital of the great barony, deanery, and parish of its own name, is delightfully situated in a fertile and open valley, on the banks of the river Kent, and at a short distance from the ruins of the ancient baronial castle. Stramongate bridge was enlarged in 1794, and the Mill bridge, which had stood since 1668, was rebuilt in 1818, when Kent lane was widened.It stands one hundred and eighty-three feet above the level of the sea, and is distant twelve miles N. The completion of the canal to Lancaster, in 1819, gave a powerful impulse to the building spirit of the inhabitants, which still continues to extend the limits of the town, and to improve its general appearance and public accommodations.
In 1822, Nether bridge, Strickland gate, and Wildman street were widened, and an obstruction at Blindbeck bridge was removed.Anciently comprised the whole of the Kendal and Lonsdale Wards, with several places in the other division of the county, and that part of Lancashire adjoining Westmorland.This extensive barony was given by William the Conqueror to Ivo de Talebois, brother of Fulk, Earl of Anjou.Fine limestone, suitable for building stone, for mortar, and for the sculptor, is found in various parts of this parish, and near Crook are veins of lead, though not worked for many years. Though the town is very ancient, it has now a modern appearance, nearly all the old houses being rebuilt, and many new streets and rows of neat buildings erected during the last forty years.The parish is intersected by the Lancaster and Carlisle, and Kendal and Windermere railways, and contains upwards of fifty villages and hamlets, with fourteen chapels-of-ease, and is divided into the following twenty-six townships, viz.: Kirkby-in-Kendal, Crook, Dillicar, Docker, Fawcett Forest, Grayrigg, Helsington, Hugill, Kentmere, Kirkland, Lambrigg, Long Sleddale, Natland, Nether Graveship, Nether Staveley, New Hutton, Old Hutton and Holme Scales, Over Staveley, Patton, Scalthwaitrigg-Hay and Hutton-ith-Hay, Selside-with-Whitwell, Skelsmergh, Strickland-Ketel, Strickland-Roger, Underbarrow and Bradley-field, Whinfell, and Winster. The houses are all covered with blue slate, and their fronts being generally whitened, have a clean and agreeable appearance, which is greatly enlivened by the number of Lombardy poplars and other trees which spire above them, and by the long range of hanging gardens on the west, and the sloping meadows and plantations on the east, where the noble Kent washes the outskirts of the town., signifying new building. Very little alteration was made in the streets till 1782, when Lowther street was built.
The Marquis died in the 13th of Elizabeth, without issue, and the "Marquis Fee" passed by marriage to William Herbert, Amongst King James's schemes for raising money, was that of taking all the crown lands in Cumberland and Westmorland into his own hands, under the pretence, "that, as the border service had then ceased by the union of the two kingdoms in his royal person, the estates were determined likewise, which the tenants held by that service." And to keep his despotic avarice in countenance, "he encouraged all the other lords of manors, within the said counties, to take to themselves the absolute estate of the several tenants, and refuse to admit the heirs to their ancestor's estates." But though the service was gone, the border spirit still remained, and a long struggle ensued between the lords and tenants, the latter entering into a resolute combination to defend each other, "even by force, if no other course should be effectual," pursuant to the articles which they had sworn to at their meeting held at Staveley, by order of James Smith, high constable, "under colour of viewing a bridge." which, for once, administered an act of justice, by acquitting the accused, and confirming to the tenants their estates, as being held, not by border service only, but by the "general military tenure by which all other tenants were obliged;" and there are numerous instances "when, at the same time, that they were subject to be called to the border service, they were required to attend their lord in a military capacity in other parts of the kingdom, and not seldom in France." Soon afterwards the tenants of many of the manors made compositions with their lords, for reducing the tenements to a . The other yearly rents they stated as follows., , who obtained a renewal of the lease from George III, so that the Earl of Lonsdale is the present lord.