The castle was probably built in the late 12th century as the home of the Barons of Kendal. The best known family to live there were the Parrs, including Katherine, the 6th wife of Henry VIII. Katherine grew up there before moving to London.
The building has been a ruin since Tudor times but imposing stonework remains are still present.
The site is freely accessible to the public. It is managed by the South Lakeland District Council.