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Netherfield Works, Kendal War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Kendal, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.3205 / 54°19'13"N

Longitude: -2.7442 / 2°44'39"W

OS Eastings: 351691

OS Northings: 491917

OS Grid: SD516919

Mapcode National: GBR 9L8G.PZ

Mapcode Global: WH82W.TNFN

Entry Name: Netherfield Works, Kendal War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441505

Location: Kendal, South Lakeland, Cumbria, LA9

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland

Civil Parish: Kendal

Built-Up Area: Kendal

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kendal Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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First World War memorial designed by W G Collingwood, with later additions for the Second World War.


MATERIALS: Westmorland Green Slate.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located on a stone paved area with a backdrop of a curved stone wall in the grounds of the former factory, the K Shoes factory called Netherfield Works, near Nether Bridge, Kendal.

It comprises a Celtic-style wheel-head cross with the front face of the cross decorated with carved Scandinavian interlace designs around a central boss in the cross-head. The cross surmounts a rectangular tapered shaft which has interlace designs in panels. One panel bears the inscription carved in relief which reads IN HONOUR OF THE MEN OF NETHER-/ FIELD WORKS WHO/ SERVED IN THE GREAT/ WAR 1914 TO 1918/ AND IN UNDYING/ REMEMBRANCE OF/ THOSE HERE NAMED/ WHO GAVE THEIR/ LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ (NAMES).

The shaft surmounts a two-tiered plinth which bears the names carved in relief.

Added later is a further inscription which reads HERE ALSO/ ARE ADDED/ THE NAMES OF/ ALL FROM HERE/ AND ELSEWHERE/ WHO/ SERVING GAVE/ THEIR LIVES/ IN/ THE WAR OF/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

The plinth is set upon a two-stepped base.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 17 February 2017.


Robert Miller Somervell opened his business as “Shoemaking Accessories Merchant and Leather Factor”, having learned his trade in London with older brother, William. Every village had one or two boot and shoe makers – there were 30 in Kendal. Kendal and Ulverston had a reputation for producing heavy leather, and Robert brought with him from his experience in London a specialist knowledge of foreign leathers and skins. By 1845 he had moved into Bridge End, Netherfield, a two room building which stood at the south side of the east end of Nether Bridge, on the present site of the war memorial. Here the head office and main factory remained on Lound Road for the rest of its life.

Four Somervells of the next generation were contributing to the steady growth and success of the partnership and the development of the “K” brand. In its heyday it employed 20% of the working population of Kendal. At the outbreak of war in 1914 women and older men were left working on “K Marching Boots”, leather leggings, “K Service Boots for Officers”, and major contracts for the French and Russian Armies. Dr T Howard Somervell served as a medic through the war.

In 1990 K Shoe Shops and K Shoemakers ceased to trade as separate companies, and the last K Shoes to be made in Kendal came off the production line at the sole surviving Natland Road Springer Factory in 2003.

The Netherfield Works War Memorial commemorates employees of the K Shoes factory called Netherfield Works and stands in the grounds of the former factory near Nether Bridge, Kendal.

The memorial is thought to have been designed by William Gershom Collingwood (1854–1932) who designed several memorials including the cross to John Ruskin at Coniston and First World War memorials at Grasmere, Coniston and Hawkshead amongst others. Dr T Howard Somervell was a member of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club of the English Lake District and an artist member of The Alpine Society and he would have known Collingwood as a fellow artist as well as a fellow climber; it is likely that the family dictated the commission.

Collingwood was a pupil of Ruskin’s and had been helping him at Brantwood editing a number of Ruskin's texts. Collingwood’s biography of Ruskin, published in 1893 and rewritten in 1900, became a standard work. In the 1890s Collingwood found his vocation as a painter and also became interested in Lake District history. He joined the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society in 1887 studying Norse and Anglican archaeology in the north, particularly the artistic aspect of it, on which he became widely recognised as the leading authority. His most important work, Northumbrian Crosses of the pre-Norman Age was published in 1927. These interests influenced his 1901 design of Ruskin’s memorial which was in the form of an Anglo-Celtic cross with interlace scrollwork and symbolic panels (Grade II) and his First World War memorial designs. Collingwood’s interlace designs for each memorial are all individual and not repeated. Informed by his scholarly and artistic expertise they are among the most distinguished works that he produced in his career.

Reasons for Listing

Netherfield Works, Kendal War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an ornate and striking memorial cross with an impressive composition of finely carved Scandinavian interlace designs;
* Designer: an excellent example of the work of William Gershom Collingwood informed by his scholarly and artistic expertise studying Norse and Anglican archaeology and early Northumbrian Crosses;
* Group value: with Nether Bridge scheduled monument.

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