Drawing 99: Castle Dairy, Kendal

Direction of view: NNE

Notes: Best taken late morning, and in summer (to avoid foreground shadows).  No parking is allowed outside (thankfully!), but you need to wait for a gap in the traffic. This sketch also appears on page 161 of Westmorland Heritage.

Comments: I first took this picture on slide film in August 1979.  The precise date is uncertain, but it was shortly after I had completed my first round of Wainwright’s 214 Lakeland fells with an ascent of Selside Pike.

I visited this sketch early in 2012 to get the direction of view (this is of course of critical importance in judging when the best lighting for the subject will occur – morning, afternoon, summer, winter etc).  It was a dull day, and not worth taking the picture, but useful reconnaissance.  My next visit was on 19th February 2012 with  Peter and Ruth Messenger, during a walk along a section of the “Westmorland Heritage Walk” from Burneside to Helsington.  It was sunny, but unfortunately builders had erected metal barriers on the left of the view.

Next visit was on 5th March 2012, as part of a walk around the Kendal sketches (see Drawing 331); the barriers had gone, but small blue signs had been hung outside, proclaiming that the building housed a restaurant (this has since closed).  This picture was good, but for the foreground shadows.

Wainwright drew two other versions of this sketch.  They are dated 1944 (a year when he drew several buildings and structures in Kendal), and were given to family friends.

Castle Dairy is a Grade 1 listed building; according to Wainwright it was rebuilt in 1564 and is the oldest inhabited building in the town. The building was severely damaged by flooding during Storm Desmond in December 2015.  It is now run by Kendal College as a heritage and education centre, and a venue for leisure and community activities.