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KENDAL CONSERVATION AREA CHARACTER APPRAISAL
Contents Section 1.0 Introduction and Legislative Background
2.0 The Location and Population of the Town 3.0 Geomorphology and Economic Geology
4.0 Archaeological Significance and Potential
5.0 The Origins & Historic Development of the Town
6.0 Character Areas Analysis and Evaluation - Introduction
6.1 Character Area 1: Town Centre North 6.2 Character Area 2: Town Centre South 6.3 Character Area 3: Kirkland 6.4 Character Area 4: Windermere Road, Kendal Green and the
Nobles Rest/Maudes Meadow Open spaces 6.5 Character Area 5: Fellside 6.6 Conservation Area 6: South West area, including Castle Howe,
Beast Banks, Greenside and Gillinggate 6.7 Character Area 7: Blackhall Road to Beezon Road 6.8 Character Area 8: Castle Street and Thorney Hills area 6.9 Character Area 9: Kendal Castle, Canal Head and the area
east of the River Kent 6.10 Character Area 10: Dowkers Lane and Waterside
Table 1: Listed Buildings in Kendal Table 2: Unlisted Buildings in Kendal Maps Appendices:
Map Appendix 1: Location of Town Character Zones Map Appendix 2: Guide to Location of Individual Maps Map Appendix 3.1-6: Architectural Quality Maps Map Appendix 4.1-6: Townscape Features Map Appendix 5.1-6: Spatial Characteristics Map Appendix 6.1-6: Public Participation Scoring
KENDAL CONSERVATION AREA CHARACTER APPRAISAL
1.0 Introduction and Legislative Background
1.1 Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance (Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act, 1990.
1.2 Guidance for the management of conservation areas is provided by central Government in Planning Policy Guidance Note 15: Planning & the Historic Environment, 1994 (PPG15) and in Conservation Area Practice published by English Heritage in 1995.
1.3 PPG 15 indicates that Local authorities are advised to review their Conservation Areas from time to time and to ensure that they have up to date character appraisals, which set out their special interest and provide the basis for development control and enhancement proposals. In addition, English Heritage advises that:
it is essential for local authorities to regularly re-evaluate and confirm the importance of the conservation areas in their districts, to be clear about the special interest which it is sought to preserve or enhance in those areas, and to adopt a firm framework for their management in order to achieve this. (Conservation Area Practice, English Heritage, 1995, p 4.1).
1.4 This published conservation area character appraisal of the Kendal conservation area was formally adopted by south Lakeland District Council on 5th December 2007. It was the third of ten areas to be assessed as part of strategic review of all ten conservation areas within the district. The objectives of this appraisal were to:
Identify and define the exact nature of the areas special interest;
To review the appropriateness of the designated area; and
Review the existing and conservation area boundaries and, where appropriate, recommend new boundaries to ensure that all of the special interest of the area is protected;
It is intended that a second phase of activity will look at how the area can be more positively managed. That document will seek to:
Assess the scope of any enhancement opportunities;
Review the need for Article 4 Direction controls;
Provide a basis for implementing policies and making informed development control decisions;
Assist in the preparation of documents in the emerging Local Development Framework, Community Strategies and Area Action Plans.
1.5 The Kendal Conservation Area was designated in 1969 by Westmorland County Council and Kendal Town Council and its boundaries were later amended during reviews carried out in 1978, 1982, 2000 and 2007, during this review, by South Lakeland District Council. This draft character appraisal has been prepared by Graham Darlington, conservation officer in the Planning Services group of South Lakeland District Council, who are the local planning authority for the area. The
fieldwork/spatial analysis for the area appraisal was undertaken between September 2005 and June 2006 and a first draft text was completed in December 2006, following a programme of public engagement that commenced in May 2005. In addition, members of the Fellside Forum and Kendal Civic Society assisted in drafting a number of sections of this appraisal while the text was edited to further reflect comments gathered from the public participation events. This Conservation Area Character Appraisal was formally adopted by South Lakeland District Council on 5 December 2007 and is a material consideration in the determination of Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent applications
2.0 The Location & Population of the Town
2.1 Kendal is situated within the county of Cumbria and is the major administrative and service centre in the local government district of South Lakeland. The town had a resident population of 27,505 at the time of the 2001 census. Approximately half of the present urban area is included within the conservation area, which includes almost all of the pre-1900 developed land.
2.2 Kendal is located in the valley of the River Kent, which has its head on the high ground of Kentmere Common, some 16kms to the north west of the town. The town is situated a few kilometres below the point where the valley begins to flatten and open out into more undulating terrain, and where the river begins to meander more widely southwards before merging with the Lyth valley and emptying into the vast estuarine sands of Morecambe Bay, some 15 kilometres to the south west. To the west and east are rolling fells which form a distinctive backcloth to the many outward views available from within the settlement, while also allowing for some striking elevated views into the heart of the town from outside.
2.3 Historically the town was situated on the A6 trunkroad, the main London to Glasgow route, and was a major stopping point prior to the steep haul up through the Tebay gorge and then over the testing Shap summit to the north. However, since the construction of the M6 motorway in 1971 the town has partly lost this strategic position on the road network, although it continues to form a major intersection between various cross country routes and can still make a genuine claim to being the gateway into the Lake District. It lies 31 km to the north of Lancaster and 63 km to the south of Carlisle, the county city of Cumbria. The town is serviced by train but its station lies a few kilometres to the west of the main inter city rail network, with which it connects at the Oxenholme junction.
3.0 Geomorphology and Economic Geology
3.1 The underlying solid geology of the Lake District consists mostly of strata belonging to the Windermere Supergroup of the late Ordovician and Silurian geological eras. These rocks are primarily sedimentary and consist mostly of marine mudstones and turbidite sandstones. These rocks were severely deformed, uplifted and metamorphosed in the early Devonian period when a slaty cleavage was imposed, and then deeply eroded during the later Devonian era. Later still, in the period of the late Cretaceous, significant mineralisation occurred as a result of further uplifting. Since then multiple glaciations have eroded much of the softer and more fractured rock strata to create the stunningly varied
landscape of the Lake District and the Cumbrian Fells.
3.2 Kendal sits on the southern east edge of an occasionally exposed Carboniferous limestone scarp that lies, geographically, around the rim of the much earlier and much more mountainous Lake District massif, where Ordovician Skiddaw slates dominate. This limestone rock began to be formed following the rifting and subsidence of the existing Devonian desert landscapes, which allowed successive marine encroachment of the sea into this landmass to form shallow saline waters where extensive carbonation took place. The rocks that formed during this period were originally up to 1,500 metres thick, and contain extensive micrites, sparites and pseudo brecciations. Some localised outcropping of slate is also to be found in the area.
3.3 This exposed limestone rock was then subjected to severe wind and water weathering during the Permo-Triassic era when a distinctive tropical Karst landscape was developed in some parts of the region. These rock formations were then significantly eroded during the subsequent hot dry Tertiary period, and then much more severely during the colder Pleistocene glaciations, when the softer rocks were removed to form the distinctive lake filled valleys and melt water channels of the Lake District proper.
3.4 The retreat of the ice sheets, some 10,000 years ago, resulted in the creation of significant glaciofluvial deposits including a range of moraine types, such as the extensive drumlin fields that occur in the close vicinity of Kendal, as well as, in parts, a substantial covering of clays made from ground up stone rock-flour. The soils locally are generally clayey or loamy to the north and west, but elsewhere, and in the Kent valley, they are more gravely and freer draining. Traditionally the chief crops grown were oats, barley, wheat, turnips, potatoes, and clover, but the greater part of the nearby upland landscape was given over to the raising of cattle and especially sheep, from which the towns woollen industry prospered sufficien