Kendal Archive Centre

The aim of Kendal Archive Centre is to collect and preserve documents relating to the former county of Westmorland to safeguard them for present and future generations.  

They also have documents for the Sedbergh-Dent district formerly in the West Riding of Yorkshire and the Cartmel district formerly in Lancashire North of the Sands.

Significant collections held by the Archive include the resources of Thomas H Mawson (landscape architect of Lancaster and Windermere in the late 19th to 20th centuries), Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676; of Appleby Castle) records and Sir Daniel Fleming (of Rydal Hall; late 17th century) papers.

Whether you want to trace your family history, learn more about industrial history, find out about the history of your local area, or wish to discover the history of a property, you will find the resources held of use.

The resources are also useful if you are researching for a school project or completing a university degree.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Contact Information for Kendal Archive Centre


Kendal Archive Centre 
Kendal County Offices 

Telephone Numbers:

01539 713539 
01539 713540



For information regarding their opening hours and collections, please visit their Home Page.  Cumbria Archive Service also has an online catalogue which has details of collections at the Centres in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven.  Their holdings include:

  • Census returns
  • Charity records
  • Church of England parish records
  • Family and estate records
  • International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Northern counties only)
  • Ordnance Survey maps
  • Probate records (Deaneries of Kendal and Furness, Carlisle Consistory Court 1536-1860)
  • School records
  • Trade directories

Location and Directions

Limited parking is available at Kendal County Hall.

They are approximately 5 minutes walk from Kendal bus stops and approximately 2 miles from Oxenholme railway station.  You can continue your journey to the Archive by catching a bus from the station.


The Archive has disabled access.  You have to go to the rear of County Offices and ring the doorbell.  They also have disabled toilet facilities.

A hearing loop is also operational.


Two computers are accessible in the Office, providing access to websites such as their online catalogue, Ancestry and FindmyPast.


You can use a camera, but they make a charge to people making use of this service.  As some documents are fragile and can be damaged easily, you are not permitted to use flash when taking photographs.  The use of scanners is also prohibited.

Photocopying facilities are also available.


The Archive also has an online shop where books, CDs and guides are available. Books available include:

  • Cumbrian Ancestors, 4th edition
  • The diaries of Edward Wadham of Barrow in Furness, 1851-1912 (CD Rom)
  • Cleaning up Kendal: a century of sanitary history
  • The Rake`s Diary: the journal of George Hilton

The Archives is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

For further details of Record Offices covering the old counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, now called Cumbria, please visit my pages regarding Carlisle Archives and Whitehaven Archives.

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