Lewthwaite and Townley’s Yard, Cross Lane, Kendal

Lewthwaite and Townley’s Yard, Cross Lane, Kendal, Cumbria: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment

Following a planning application for the demolition of garages and the erection of two dwellings on Cross Lane, Kendal, Cumbria a programme of archaeological investigation was requested by South Lakeland District Council, following advice by the Cumbria County Council Historic Environment Service (CCCHES). The first part of this was to comprise a desk-based assessment. The work was carried out by Greenlane Archaeology in October 2007. With the agreement of Jeremy Parsons of CCCHES, the area examined included the adjoining land owned by the client, which may be the subject of future planning applications.

The desk-based assessment revealed that the proposed development area was situated at the west end of medieval burgage plots running off Kirkland, and that previous intrusive work in the general vicinity had identified truncated medieval deposits, but no medieval features. The earliest standing buildings present on the site, currently forming the main part of Lewthwaite and Townley’s workshop, and facing onto Cross Lane, date back to at least as early as 1770. When the first of these buildings was constructed it may have had some connection to Cock Beck, which was located at its south-east corner. The buildings were used as a wool stapler’s warehouse, apparently from the very end of the 19th century until the early 20th century. Following this, the buildings appear to have been used as a bakery, until they were acquired by the client’s business in the mid 20th century. They have since been used as builders and joiners workshops. Buildings previously standing in the area of the garages, but demolished prior to 1899, also dated back to at least 1770. Their function could not be determined, but they appear to have been associated with Kirkbarrow House, which lay to the south, and were situated at the north-east end of a row of cottages and may have formed part of these.

A site visit was also carried out as part of the desk-based assessment, to examine the nature and condition of the site and any structures that were present. During the site visit the condition and survival of the original fabric in the main buildings forming Lewthwaite and Townley’s workshop was noted, and this included the apparently original 18th century timber roof structure in the earliest building, and various other architectural details such as dressed limestone quoins and blocks over wagon doorways.

The full report is available on the Archaeology Data Service website: https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-700-1/dissemination/pdf/greenlan1-37774_1.pdf