Swallow Barn
Watchgate Farm, Watchgate, Selside, Near Kendal, Cumbria.

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Situated just 3 miles outside Kendal at Selside,
Swallow Barn is ideally located for exploring either the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
The barn is just a 10/15 minute drive from Windermere / Ambleside and is on the edge of the Lake District National Park with views looking onto Potter Fell and Longsleddale Valley.
The market town of Kendal has an interesting selection of craft and specialist shops along with the renowned K Village factory outlet offering famous brands at discount prices.

Kendal was the largest town in the County of Westmorland (though not the capital which was Appleby), before it became part of Cumbria. It was a one of the country's main manufacturing towns from the 14th Century until the 19th Century, with many mills on the River Kent.

The layout of the town is characterised by the narrow yards and lanes branching from the main street. It is less than a mile from the National Park boundary but is overlooked by the majority of people heading for Windermere and Grasmere.

Kendal's first Alderman lived at Black hall in 1575. The building was renovated in 1810, and in 1875 became a brush factory, with the sign of the bristly hog.

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Kendal Castle, probably late 12th Century, is now a ruin, but worth exploring. From here you can get brilliant views over the town. At Kendal Museum is an exhibition telling the story of the Castle, its people , and the life of the town. There is a reconstruction of the Castle.

The Parish Church, Holy Trinity, is mostly 18th Century, but has been a place of worship since the 13th Century. It is Cumbria's largest parish church, having five aisles, two each side of the nave, and a fine western tower.

Beside the Church is the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, set in an attractive Georgian House beside the River Kent. Major art exhibitions are held here. The Museum of Lakeland Life is housed in what was the stable block of Abbot Hall. There are displays of traditional rural trades of the area, including farming machinery and tools, showing how Cumbrian people lived, worked and entertained themselves over the last 300 years.

The Museum of Natural History and Archaeology is one of the oldest museums in the country, housing outstanding displays of natural history and archaeology, both local and global.

There were once about 150 yards in Kendal, often named after the owner of the main house which usually stood at the top of the yard. A good example is Yard 83 - Dr Mannings's Yard, on the right hand side as you walk up Highgate. The yards on this side of Highgate used to run in parallel lines down to the river, where there were factories, weaving shops, dying works, and even a windmill (Yard 65 is called Windmill Yard).
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Alfred Wainwright, author of the famous guidebooks, was born in Blackburn, but lived in Kendal from 1941 until his death in 1991. The Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall used to be his office when he was Borough Treasurer from 1947 until 1967. In 1977 AW published Kendal in the Nineteenth Century, in which he copied and converted some 19th Century photographs which he had found in the collection of the Kendal Museum, where he was still Hon curator. Many are street scenes, full of people and activity. In the Kendal Museum is the Wainwright Gallery, which contains a recreation of his office.