Kendal Town Council

The Mayor’s Parlour

The feature that distinguishes Kendal from most other Parish Councils in Cumbria is the Mayor’s 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 273 past holders of the office up to Cllr Alvin Finch, Kendal’s current Mayor for 2019/2020.

Cllr Alvin Finch – Mayor of Kendal 2019/20

2019/20 Mayor Cllr Finch with preceding Mayor Cllr Tirvengadum

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.

The Deputy Mayor for 2019/20 is Councillor Doug Rathbone.



Visiting the Mayor’s Parlour


Should you wish to arrange a visit (groups of up to 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.

Academic Research 

To view any heritage items as part of academic research please contact us to make an appointment.