History of the Duke of Cumberland Kendal
The Duke of Cumberland is the first and last pub on the North Eastern entrance\exit to Kendal. It sits at the junction of Shap Road and Appleby Road. This area used to be called Far Cross Bank; Shap Road was Far Cross Bank West, and Appleby Road was Far Cross Bank East. Here, at the junction of these roads, a medieval cross is said to have once stood. When the cross was removed, its large granite base was left in situ and used quite possibly as a meeting place. Local records state that such were the size of the crowds that gathered here, that the local authorities had the cross base buried, and it remains lost to this day.
The inn is thought to be named after the Duke of Cumberland, sometimes referred to as “the Butcher”, who chased Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army back across the border in 1745, the year that the Jacobites attempted to wrest back the crown for the Stuart dynasty. The story says that the Duke stopped off here for refreshment in the course of his pursuit of the Prince, although it’s more likely that the inn was renamed purely in honour of his achievements. Prior to the inn being the Duke of Cumberland, it was known as the New Crown Inn.
We know from the Town’s records, that from the 1820s to 1900s, Jonathan Jackson Banks was landlord. In 1910, Whitwell Mark and Co Ltd of Kendal, purchased the inn. They were famous locally for beers such as Auld Kendal Strong Ale, Westmorland Ale, East India Pale Ale and Double Six Amber Ale, all sold locally from the 1930s through to the late 1950s. They operated out of what is today the Brewery Arts Centre on Highgate, and remained a supplier of fine ales until their closure in 1968.
In the early 1940s, plans were submitted to the Town Council for the demolition of the inn so that the two roads either side could be widened. Luckily for us the plans came to nothing, and the inn remained open as a watering hole for the townsfolk. At the same time, the interior of the inn was updated and the stables in the yard were demolished to make way for the car park. The entrance to the stables can be seen to this day, marked by the green arched window at the side of the inn.
By Matthew Pemmott
Visit matthewpemmott.co.uk, for a definitive listing of castles, towers and fortified houses in Westmorland and Cumberland