Have you ever wondered where some of our Kendal names came from? I did, and Eliza Lewis guided me to the answers.

This post describes the origins of “Kendal,” “Crosslands,” “Coniston,” and “Cartmel,” as well as the personal care facilities (“Cumberland” and “Audland”) and the nursing facilities (“Westmorland” and “Firbank”) of the two campuses. The names refer to people and places that were prominent in the early history of Quakers in England. Here are some details.

Kendal is the name of a small manufacturing town on the River Kent, just upstream from the point where it reaches the Irish Sea. The name was originally “Kent Dale” (Kent Valley) but was shortened over the centuries. The area around Kendal played a central role in the early stages of Quakerism, and the “Kendal fund”, money raised by the early Quaker Margaret Fell (who lived nearby), paid for the expenses of early Quakers who were trying to spread the religion.  

Crosslands was the name of the farm owned by early Quakers John and Ann Audland. Quakerism’s founder, George Fox, stayed there in 1652 after a famous outdoor sermon he gave to a crowd of over a thousand from a rocky outcropping called Firbank Fell. Both Audlands were prolific preachers, and both were repeatedly jailed for it. Crosslands was also the name that Eliza Lewis and her husband Lloyd (Kendal’s first Executive Director) chose for the house they built when they lived at Pendle Hill, the Quaker center in Delaware County.

Kendal and Crosslands are in Westmorland County, along with many other important sites in Quaker history. Coniston and Cartmel are nearby towns that are across the county border in Lancashire. West of Lancashire lies Cumberland County.

Just to the north of Kendal is England’s beautiful Lake District (which is even more beautiful than our “Lake District”, some say) and the town of Kendal is known as the “Gateway to the Lakes”—hence the name of our “Gateway” gift shop.

These notes on names are extracted from two sources, both provided by Eliza Lewis. One is the booklet “An Act of Faith”, published in 1988 to commemorate Kendal’s 15th anniversary. It contains a section about the names, written by Eleanor Stabler Clarke. The other is a five-page document, written by Eliza herself based on notes from a presentation about Ann Audland that she gave at Pendle Hill in 1965.