Castle Street School was built in 1835 as a multi-denominational British School for girls and older boys.

The first half of the 19th Century saw a great burst of school building all over the country.

In Kendal, the National School (later called Central School) was built on Beast Banks in 1818; a Quaker infants school was built in Castle Street in 1830; St Thomas’s School in 1842 and St George’s School in 1854 – then came the Kirkland schools for girls and infants in 1861 and the Kendal Green School in 1873. Most of these continued until they were replaced by more modern buildings on other sites in the 1970s and 1980s.

Castle Street School is now a well-used community centre, but when this photograph was taken it was full of children. One of the most illustrious was a certain David Starkey, who attributes his love of history and success in later life to headmistress, Miss Cliburn, who gave him a history book when he left for the grammar school.

The children in this photograph will be mature adults by now; we wonder what memories they have of their years at Castle Street.