About the Collections

Kendal Museum’s mineral collection from the Lake District and the North of England is the largest and most extensive collection in Cumbria.

Two dedicated collectors, Bill Shaw and John Hamer, gathered rare minerals which provide a history of the mining industry in Cumbria.

John Hamer hailed from Ingleton and he filled his house with mineral specimens. After his death over 2,000 finely preserved specimens were discovered in his house. The collection also contains spectacular crystals from around the world including Brazil, India and Mexico.

Bill Shaw grew up in Coniston. Following a long history of working in mines Shaw became an engineer. The Shaw mineral collection was purchased in 2012 using an Arts Council grant when the Keswick Mining Museum was closing.

The Martindale herbarium collection contains over 4,000 specimens of flower plants, mosses, grasses and ferns collected locally in Cumbria, as well as specimens collected further afield in Germany, Hungary and America.

Joseph Martindale was from Staveley where he was a school master from 1859 to 1902. His main interests were flowering plants and lichens. He went to great lengths to collect and identify species from Cumbria.

Martindale was an honorary curator of botany at Kendal Museum and was the president of the Kendal Natural History Society.