Drawing 48: Kendal Castle

Direction of view: SE

Notes: This will look best late afternoon to evening in summer.  Due to a sloping foreground, it is difficult to get a view that doesn’t look “lopsided”.

This sketch also appears on page 160 of Westmorland Heritage, page 49 of Ex-Fellwanderer, and page 54 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer.  All are from the same drawing which, like many images in A Lakeland Sketchbook, has the character of quite early work by Wainwright, in a detailed and characterful style.

Comments: I first took this picture on 11th July 1979, after a “long grassy slog” around the Crookdale Horseshoe with a detour to Tarn Crag and Grey Crag with Peter Messenger.  We then got a variety of sketches from Three Westmorland Rivers, and this shot of Kendal Castle (image 1).

For the digital project, I took image 2 on 5th March 2012 – see Drawing 331 for an account of that day.  There are prominent wooden railings now present, and it is also notable that some of the stonework has been excavated in areas which are shown as grassed over in AW’s drawing.

I took the picture again on 1st October 2015 (image 3).  For some time I had been working at the County Archives in Kendal, helping to catalogue their collection of Wainwright’s photos (amongst other things).  I was conscious that upon leaving the Archives about 5pm, this would be a good time to take this photo. The weather was excellent; it was towards the end of a marvellous period when high pressure sat over the UK.  A hawthorn tree grows in what is probably the precise spot where Wainwright stood.  It does provide the foliage as per the sketch, but the foreground is in shadow.

AW refers to the castle as the birthplace of Katherine Parr, although this is doubtful.  At the time A Lakeland Sketchbook was published, an archaeological excavation of the ruins was being undertaken.

Wainwright’s sketch includes sheep in the foreground.  Other photos in the County Archives in Kendal prove that sheep were sometimes allowed to graze here: see image 4.