Kendal parish church, with a history dating back over a thousand years, is one of the largest parish churches in the country and one of England's Greater Churches.
During the following century, substantial alterations made to the premises. By 1814 Friends decided on a completely new meeting house. A subscription list was opened and Francis Webster a local architect appointed. The resulting building was a Georgian town meeting house. Completed in 1816 and used today both by Kendal Quaker Meeting and the Quaker Tapestry Museum.
The upstairs gallery ran round three of the walls and, together with the ground floor, provided seating for around 750. Special events used the large room, such as visits by travelling ministers, large Quaker gatherings, weddings, funerals etc.
Women Friends held their own distinct business meetings chiefly concerned with the care of people, whilst the men met to discuss finance and property matters. As most Quaker Meeting Houses required two separate rooms.
Women met in the smaller room and the men met in the larger room, now occupied by the Quaker Tapestry Museum. Sunday Worship used this larger room: the men on one side and women on the other, as was usual in most chapels and churches. Seating was by way of long, heavy wooden benches, one is in the entrance lobby. Friends at the head of meeting sat on three facing benches, acknowledged ministers at the top, elders below, then overseers. The clerk’s table was in the middle of the second row.