Kendal – St George’s Parish Church
Location : Kendal
Grid Ref SD 522930
Castle St, LA9 7AS. Tel 01539 720018.
Originally a chapel-at-ease of the Kendal Parish Church of Holy Trinity situated in Kirkland, the first St George’s Chapel of 1754 was not unlike the Victorian idea of heaven, earth and hell. It occupied the upper part of a building which used to be in the Market Place, close to the present war memorial.
The upper storey was the chapel; the ground floor was used as the butter market, whilst below this was the notorious dungeon of the town jail.
The position of the original St George’s Chapel accounts for the rather odd shape of the parish which, apart from a large area on the east of the River Kent from Sedbergh Road northwards, forms, on the west side of the river, a wedge shape which seems to divide the Parish of Holy Trinity to the south from the Parish of St Thomas to the north.
When the new church of St George was built on the present site in 1841, to cope with the expansion of the town on the east bank of the river, it still retained its old parish area including the Market Place and Finkle Street; and does to this day. It was built to the design of local architect George Webster, with a chancel by Paley and Austin added in 1910.
However, modern preferences of worship mean that Anglican worshippers from all over Kendal choose whichever of the three parish churches offers the style of worship they like the best.
Photos by Matthew Emmott.
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