Kendal Town Council

The Mayor of Kendal

Councillor Jonathan Cornthwaite was elected Mayor of Kendal at Kendal Town Council’s Annual Meeting on 2 May 2024. Cllr Cornthwaite has lived and worked in the Mintsfeet Ward he serves for most of his life. Elected to the Town Council in 2018, he is also an elected member for Kendal Nether Ward on Westmorland and Furness Council, having previously served as a district councillor on the former South Lakeland District Council. Helen Cornthwaite, Jonathan’s wife, is Mayoress of Kendal.

The Mayor of Kendal is the Town’s ‘First Citizen’and serves as the Chair of the Council, as well as fulfilling ceremonial duties. Cllr Cornthwaite’s chosen charities for his Mayoral Year are Men in Sheds, Youth Presence and Kendal Relief in Need.

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


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 275 different holders of the office prior to Cllr Jonathan Cornthwaite. List-of-Mayors-to-May-2024.

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, during the reign of Charles I.