Kendal Town Council

The Mayor of Kendal

Councillor Julia Dunlop was elected Mayor of Kendal at Kendal Town Council’s annual meeting on 18thMay 2023.

Julia has been a Town Councillor since 2018, representing the people of Mintsfeet ward. .

Now retired, Julia was initially a teacher – in both mainstream and special schools and subsequently qualified as an Educational Psychologist holding senior posts in Blackpool for 15 years. A co-author of two books on Autism & Asperger syndrome, she has also written many articles in educational publications on children with special needs.

Locally, she helped establish ‘Wave Forward’, a new charity promoting mental health in local young people.

Julia is a keen theatre-goer and has been a volunteer gallery steward at Abbot Hall. Involved in parkrun since 2014, she has completed over 175 runs at 13 locations, including Fell Foot, Ambleside, Ulverston & Morecambe. She would love Kendal to have its own event.

Julia is 275th Mayor of Kendal, but only the 16th woman to hold the position.

Every year the Mayor chooses charities to support and raise money for during their term in office.  Julia’s charities are Waste into Wellbeing, who repurposes rescued food for and with the community and Wave Forward, a mental health charity that supports young people. To learn more about these fantastic local charities, please use the following links Waste into Wellbeing and Wave Forward. 

To book the Mayor to support your event please click here.

The Mayor is supported by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Cornthwaite, who was also elected on the 18th of May 2023.

The Mayor’s Parlour

The Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall is the historic reception room for the Mayor’s civic role. It’s where the Mayor will receive guests and dignitaries during civic events. The Parlour is also home to a collection of exceptional historical items that tell the story of  Kendal’s rich heritage.

Visiting the Parlour

Visits to the Parlour are accompanied by the Town Council’s Heritage Officer. Groups of up to 12 people can hear about the history of Kendal and see the town’s regalia and works of art.

Sessions usually last 90 -120 minutes, and will include time for questions and attendees are welcome to take photographs of most things in the room.

To enquire about visiting the parlour, please email

To view any heritage items in the Town Council Collection for academic research please contact us to make an appointment or complete the booking form.

Art Collection

The Council’s art collection covers mostly mayoral and civic subjects, but also some local views and works from prominent local artists – Cuthbert Rigby and George Romney among them. The outstanding works can be seen in the Mayor’s Parlour and around the Town Hall, but you can also see most of the collection on-line at

Civic Events

Kendal Town Council organises several annual Civic events including:

  • Mayor Making Ceremony
  • Mayor’s Sunday
  • Torchlight Festival Reception
  • Remembrance Sunday
  • Christmas Lights Switch-On
  • The Mayor’s Christmas Coffee morning
  • The Mayor’s charity dinner

To see the latest event please check the calendar available here.


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 different holders of the office prior to Cllr Doug Rathbone. List-of-Mayors-to-May-2022.

Famous Kendal surnames 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.

On ceremonial occasions the Mayor is accompanied by the Sword Bearer and Mace Bearers. The Sword Bearer carries the ceremonial sword presented to the town by Charles II, one of only 20 ever given to a town by the Monarch. The maces are slightly older and were made in 1647/8.