Kendal George and Dragon Inn
Location : Kendal
Grid Ref SD 516927
Branthwaite Brow, LA9 4TX. Tel 01539 726635
The George and Dragon is situated at the top of Branthwaite Brow, sandwiched between shops and the alley leading to the Unitarian Chapel. The inn extends right back onto the chapel gardens and burial grounds, and from this, it’s safe to assume that the building predates the chapel that was built in 1720 (it’s unlikely that permission would have been granted to construct a new building on established chapel grounds!!)
The first known landlord is recorded as Joshua Craven Jnr, although no dates can be put to his tenure. In 1767, George Craven and his wife Agnes succeeded Joshua as landlord and landlady. In 1774, Joshua Craven (the first landlord) inherited from his father (also called Joshua) the majority of his estate, including another inn called the Football Inn in the market place.
In 1849, a public health survey was carried out, noting that the slaughter houses in the grounds of the Golden Lion Inn (now Café Nero at the top of Branthwaite Brow) were allowing their ‘filth’ to flow down Branthwaite Brow, through the garden and the burial ground of the chapel and eventually being stemmed by the outer walls of the houses facing up the brow. The report resulted in the demolition of some of the houses on the West side of Branthwaite Brow, and the widening of the cobbled street. The shops that were left and faced onto the street were refaced with iron plates, and bare the date 1853. They were re-fronted this way to maintain the new width, which new stone walls would have diminished.
In 1854, a year after the street was widened, Hugh Langhorn became the owner. He remained there until the 1860’s.
A report of 1892, states that the inn was owned by Spencer and Co. of Whitehaven (who also owned the Wheatsheaf in Kirkland) The inn had four drinking rooms, six bedrooms to let, no dining room and stabling for 15 horses. The stables were up the yard, now occupied by Bar Nexus.
By the end of the 18th century, Kendal brewers Jonas Alexander and Son Ltd owned the inn. They put the doorway back in the front of the inn, replacing the window that been put there. There is an interesting black and white photo of 1898, that shows the front of the inn with stairs leading to a window, not a door.
By 1909, the inn had four private bedrooms and one for rent by travellers. The stabling had been increased to accommodate 20 horses.”
Words and photos by Matthew Emmott.
Go to Menu :