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Backbarrow played its part in making the UK a major industrial nation.

Backbarrow derives its name from the large hill known as Barrow Hill and as it was at the back of this hill it became known as Backbarrow. The village, like many others, is disected by the A590 and on the one side of the road it nestles close to the river whilst on the other side of the A590 it rises up Barrow Hill towards Bigland Fell. The early community formed around commercial ventures which included agriculture, Cotton Milling, Iron Production, and Ultramarine Blue manufacture.

The Leven valley was not always as idyllic as it appears today. Many years ago it was home to Iron Making, Cotton and Ultra Marine production.
The Iron Masters who developed iron making in the valley eventually moved their skills to the Midlands, which became known as "the Black Country" and took part in building the Iron Bridge across the gorge at Iron Bridge, and the first Iron ship to sail the oceans.

Backbarrow in the 21st Century

Here we can see the old and new faces of Backbarrow living side by side. Houses are packed tightly on both sides of Finsthwaite Lane in much the same way as they would have been in medeval times. To the right of the images out of shot is the river Leven.

photo looking towards Linsty Green showing New Housing

New build in Backbarrow

Photo of The Cottages on Finsthwaite Lane

"Old" Backbarrow showing former mill workers cottages

White Water Hotel and Holiday Village

The White Water Holiday Village

photo of the Old Drying sheds - now the main hotel complex

Where once stood the dark satanic mill, now stands a modern holiday complex.
The old Drying Sheds have become a hotel, restaurant and conference centre, while the old Kiln Shed is a Gym, Swimming Pool and cafe. A far cry from those smelly blue stained walls when the mill produced its ultra marine pigmants.

On the photo above you can see at the bottom of the picture the Fisherman's Bar with a patio and table for enjoying an alfresco meal or drink at your leisure.

The Main hotel complex - formerly the Old Drying Sheds

Here we see the main hotel complex which once used to be the Drying Sheds, where the Ultramarine Blue was dried, powdered and made ready for packing. This building also housed the turbine which was powered by the river and some offices.
Now the complex has conference facilities, bedrooms, restaurants and bars. What a difference from the dark and dirty sheds so many worked in.

Photo of Cascades Health Spa, formerly the Old Kiln Sheds

Hydro Electric Refurbishment

The trust that owned the Old Iron Works converted the old mill race to generate electricity. On the right is a photo of the refurbishment work being carried on.

You will see this mill race referred to on other pages.

Photo of work on the Hydro Refurbishment Scheme

Millerbeck Open Days


spacer image - Haverthwaite & Backbarrow

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