Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kendal is an ancient town in the former county of Westmorland, now in the South Lakeland district county of Cumbria. It stands on the River Kent from which it partly takes its name (Kent-Dale, meaning valley-of-the-river-Kent). It is where Kendal mint cake was originally invented.
Currently with a population of 27,521 (2001 estimate), Kendal was pronounced the best place to live in England by an eight-year long survey undertaken by the University of Strathclyde, and those who live there.
Kendal is situated on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Local scenes have long been inspiration for poets, writers and musicians, and a relatively large number of famous faces reside or have holiday homes in the area. Now part of the county of Cumbria, Kendal is an important town in a largely rural area.
Kendal railway station is situated on the Windermere Branch Line and gives connections to Windermere to the north, and Oxenholme (change at Oxenholme Lake District for the West Coast Main Line) and Lancaster to the south.
A chartered market town, the centre of Kendal is structured around a highstreet with fortified yards off to either side which allowed the local population to seek shelter from Celtic raiding parties. The main industry in these times was the manufacture of woollen goods - indeed the town coat of arms features several icons associated with the woolen industry and the town's latin motto "Pannus mihi panis" is literally translated as "wool is my bread". "Kendal Green" was hard-wearing wool-based fabric specific to the local manufacturing process, and was supposedly sported by the Kendalian archers who were instrumental in the English victory over the French at Agincourt.
More recently, Kendal's major industries included the manufacture of shoes, but the closure of local factories indicated the almost inevitable move towards a tourism-based economy.
On February 26, 2003, Kendal was granted Fairtrade Town status.
The Kendal Museum of Natural History and Archaeology is one of the oldest in the country. It includes an exhibition on the geology of the Lake District, and a great big stuffed polar bear.
Other attractions include the Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Lakeland Museum of Rural Life.
Kendal has a fair share of attractions, including the Brewery Arts centre with its three-screen cinema, one of which, the "sugar store" shows independent film, and a large number public houses and restaurants.
Kendal has some interesting views, many of which can be seen from the ruined castle or high on the hillsides that make up the valley.
The most famous product of Kendal is mint cake , a glucose-based product reputedly accidentally discovered by one Joseph Wiper during his search for the clear glacier mint .
Used on numerous expeditions to mountaintops (including Mount Everest and K2) and both poles of the Earth, its popularity is mainly due to the very astute decision of the original manufacturer's great nephew to market it as an energy food, and to supply Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Transarctic Expedition. This is combined with its general inedibility, often forcing people to eat "anything other than..." in order to survive.
By the time the business was sold to competitor Romney's in 1987 there were a whole host of rival mint cake producers, many of which are still in business.
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