Monday, May 17, 2021

Sawyers Arms, Kendal

 The Sawyers Arms



The Sawyers Arms was originally (so says David Currington in his 'A Pictorial Record of Public Houses in Kendal') built on the site of the current County Hall building opposite the Police Station at Busher Walk. It was then rebuilt in its current position in the mid 1800s.

Above. The Sawyers Arms as it looked in 2006.

The inn may have started life on its current site, as the Strickland Arms. The General Rate Book of 1864 has it named thus. When put up for sale in April of that same year, it was named as the Strickland Arms, possibly due to its location on Stricklandgate, and the Sawyers Arms. 

Above. The Sawyers Arms pub sign in 2006.

The first known landlord was Thomas Wells in 1829, with his wife taking over the reins in 1834. The Wells family held the tenancy for around 20 years. In 1892, the inn was owned by John Booth of Ulverston, who also owned the White Hart, the Slip Inn and the Kendal Green Tavern on House of Correction Hill (Windermere Road) He later sold the in to Messrs. Hartley of Ulverston in 1896. 

Above. Old saloon door window depicting Hartley's ales.

Plans dating 1885, show that there were two cottages to the rear of the inn, along with a hen-house, ash pit, privy and a brewhouse and yard. Above the inn, two cottages were available for rent.

In 1869, Hartley's submitted plans for alterations to the inn. A large carriage drive was built and the adjoining bakery was enlarged to cater for guests. At this time, the entrance offered access to a take-out servery known as the 'vault'. There were two sets of double doors along the frontage onto Stricklandgate, which allowed access to a smoking room and a bar parlour.

Above. The Sawyers Arms in more recent times.

As with many old inns in Kendal, the local press had much to say about miscreants and law breaking in the day. An inquest was held on the 12th of February 1838, into the death of Jane Bell of Stricklandgate, who had died in a fit of apoplexy(?) One week later, the Kendal Mercury reported that William Airey, an unemployed weaver, was chastised at the police station, for being drunk and insulting people as they left the Sawyers Arms. The licencing body in the 1800s, was the Kendal Licencing Sessions, who would meet regularly to discuss any issues or address any complaints arising regarding landlords\ladies and their inns. The Gazette reported, in August 1863, that the Superintendant, Mr Bird, was forced to convict one landlord and dismiss three of the dismissals was reported as being Sarah Lindsay of the Sawyers Arms...there was a complaint that she was 'an unfit person to keep an inn'. However, it's likely that an appeal was lodged, as Sarah was noted as being the landlady of the Sawyers Arms in 1869

The inn has been closed for a few years now, and has gradually fallen into a serious state of disrepair. It's been sold and is due to be demolished shortly.

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