Kendal Museum

Station Rd, Kendal, LA9 6BT
Kendal Museum

Kendal Museum (Jarry1250 /

A great asset of the town of Kendal, the Kendal Museum claims to be one of the oldest museums in the country and enables visitors to learn more about the history of the lands around them.

Featuring a plethora of collections ranging from ancient Greek relics to rare animal specimens, the museum will delight visitors who are keen on natural history.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 815 597 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year


The museum first opened in 1796 by William Todhunter, who was a keen collector of fossils, antiques, and other artefacts. Later it passed into the ownership of the Kendal Literary and Scientific Society and the number of collections grew, soon requiring a larger space to house them.

The museum moved to its current location, which is a former wool warehouse, following the end of World War One and was taken over by the Town Council. Its former curators include Alfred Wainwright, best known for his pictorial guides to the fells, and today the museum features a recreation of Wainwright’s office.

Things To See

The museum is a maze of weird and wonderful artefacts, so make sure you allow plenty of time to explore them fully. Intriguing items include a large brain coral specimen, an Iron Age sword, and a Dodo display. In the Kendal and Westmoreland Gallery that has been recently refurbished you can view items from history that date back to the prehistoric age, right up until the 20th century.

A fascinating collection of taxidermy is available to view in the World Wildlife Gallery, whilst the Lake District Natural History Gallery explores the geology of the spectacular national park. Visitors can also view the Hamer Collection, a collection of over 2000 specimens of minerals and crystals.

For an additional charge, visitors can opt for a Tour, Talk, and Tea, where they will be given a guided tour around the museum, a talk on one of the collections, and cream tea in the adjacent restaurant. For children, activity packs and trails are available for an additional charge that include quizzes, crayons, and activities such as fossil rubbing.

Useful Information

The museum now has a small café situated in the reception area. The café serves hot and cold drinks and a selection of snacks, including gluten free cakes. The café is located adjacent to a small children’s play area. Two out of four of the galleries are accessible by wheelchair.


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