Kentmere

Chapelry and township in Kendal parish, Kendal ward, Westmorland.

Acreage: 6,613 acres [2,676 ha], divided into four quarters – Green Quarter, Hollowbank Quarter, Crag Quarter and West Wreay Quarter – for local administrative purposes. Common land in Kentmere (131 acres [53 ha]) enclosed 1850; Green Quarter stinted pasture (753 acres [305 ha]) enclosed 1854.

Population: rising from 166 in 1801 to peak of 212 in 1811 and 1821, then declining to stand at 164 in 1901, 91 in 1961 and 95 in 2001.

Landownership: manor of Kentmere was assigned to Laderina, sister and co-heir of Peter de Brus (d. 1272), lord of moiety of Kendal barony, and descended through her daughter Sibil, who married Miles de Stapleton, to Stapleton family, in whose hands it remained until sold by Gilbert Stapleton to Nicholas Fisher of Stainbank Green 1626. Sold on death of his descendant Henry Fisher to Thomas Wilson of Kendal 1745. Kentmere Hall was held by Gilpin family by later 14th century; sold early 17th century to Philipsons of Calgarth.

Economy: hill farming; slate quarrying at head of valley from 18th century. Quarrying at its peak from 1847 to 1914; reduced activity continued at Steel Rigg until 1950s. Mining of diatomite (silicaceous earth used in industrial products) from bed of Kentmere Tarn: factory opened 1929; production ceased 1995. Kentmere Reservoir built 1845-8 to feed mills further down Kent valley.

Places of worship: chapel of ease of St Cuthbert recorded 1453; restored and tower rebuilt 1866.

Schools and other institutions: curate licensed to teach 1696; school recorded 1818; rebuilt later 19th century; closed 1957. Kentmere Institute (village hall) built 1925-6.