Object of the Month: Brown Bear

The brown bear at Kendal Museum, arrived in 1939.

Bears in England have a complicated history. There are limited resources archaeologists have access to, as there is little physical evidence found in bogs, forests and rivers. The University of Nottingham released a research project in 2018 to gain a deeper insight into the reasons for the bear’s mysterious disappearance and why it is so difficult to narrow down the details of when and where the bears were naturally. However, that is not to say that brown bears have not left their impact on the revolving artwork and culture of Britain.

It is calculated that there were over 13,000 bears in Britain 70,000 years ago. The university of Nottingham discovered evidence of bears in over 85 sites in England and Scotland, dating from the Stone Age to post- medieval times.

The brown bear was once found extensively across Britain, in the countryside from Devon in south of England to Sutherland in northern Scotland, however by the end of the last Ice Age, populations had dwindled, and they had become rare.

The Brown Bear is available for you to see at the Westmorland Gallery, Kendal Museum.

Skip to content