Kendal Castle and Katherine Parr

Many books and local legends of Cumbria place the birth of Queen Katherine Parr at Kendal Castle in 1512. Is this true? No.

Kendal Castle, 1739.

Kendal Castle, 1739.

It’s false of course. By the time of her birth — her father, Sir Thomas, had abandoned the castle which was falling into disrepair for the court life. Who wouldn’t want to be at the court of Henry VIII? It was THE place to be! Plus, Catherine’s mother was in attendance upon the Queen. It would appear that Catherine’s grandfather, William, was the last to reside in the Castle. Shortly after the coronation of Richard III, Parr left for Kendal to distance himself from Edward IV’s “successor.” He died a few months later and is buried in Kendal Parish Church.

No one knows where Katherine, her brother William and sister Anne were born.

In spite of long held beliefs and old stories, the future Queen Katherine was not born in Kendal Castle which, after years of neglect, was becoming ruinous and by 1572 it was derelict and left in the hands of the Steward.

More probably the children were born in the house in Blackfriars which Sir Thomas Parr had leased shortly before Katherine was born, or in one of the other properties owned by the family in the south of England.(The Stricklandgate House Trust Limited)

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