The Mayors Parlour

The feature that distinguishes Kendal from most other Parish Councils in Cumbria is the Mayors Parlour. Kendal has had a first Citizen (originally known as the Alderman) since 1575 during the reign of Elizabeth I. The title of Mayor was bestowed by Charles I in 1636 and there have been 270 separate holders of the office up to Cllr Stephen Coleman, Kendal’s current Mayor for 2016/2017.

Cllr Stephen Coleman – Mayor of Kendal 2016/17

M Parlour 19 May 2016


Some of the famous Kendal names which appear on the Mayoral roll of honour include, Bindloss ( for the first time in 1579 and the last in 1894), Sleddall, Birkett, Strickland, Hadwen, Miller, Mackereth, Braithwaite, Dobson, Maude, Bradshaw, Webster (Kendal’s most famous architect), Wakefield, Gilkes and Somervell (of K shoes).

On ceremonial occasions the Mayor, is accompanied by the Sword Bearer and two Mace Bearers. The Sword Bearer carries the sword presented to the town by Charles II, which is one of only 20 ever given to a town by the Monarch. The Mace Bearers (originally known as Sergeants of Mace) carry the maces made in 1647/8.

Should you wish to arrange a group visit (20 maximum) to the Mayor’s Parlour to hear about the history of Kendal, see the town’s regalia and works of art – please contact us to make an appointment. This BBC audio slide show provides a glimpse of what to expect.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days take place annually in early September and are lead by local historians and the Mayor’s Attendent Simon Unsworth.

Next Open Day – Friday 8th September 2017 – 11am & 2pm

Book via Kendal Town Council office from early July 2017 (places are limited to 20 booking is advisable)

The Mayor’s Parlour is not usually open to individuals, so this is a rare opportunity to learn about the history of Kendal, and the role of its Mayor from the first Alderman in 1575. You will also have the opportunity to view Kendal’s historic artefacts, including the Sword of State and Maces, Queen Katherine Parr’s Book of Devotions and the original Town Charters.  The Parlour has full disabled access.