Extract from: Kelly's Directory of Lancashire, 1905
BACKBARROW is a small village, pleasantly seated on the north and south banks of the river Leven, which separates the parishes of Colton and Cartmel, in the ecclesiastical district of Haverthwaite, and in the parish of Colton, 1½ miles north-east from Haverthwaite station and 7½ miles north-east from Ulverston. The inhabitants attend the church at Haverthwaite and also a Wesleyan chapel. Bigland Hall, a most interesting old house, standing in some 60 acres of ground, and the seat of Alfred Bigland esq. is situated on the top of the Bigland Heights, and close to Bigland Tarn, some 12 acres in extent, and commands extensive views of the valley of the Leven. There is an old beam in the kitchen here bearing date 1166. Here are iron works and ultramarine works. Alfred Bigland esq. is the principal landowner. The soil is loamy; subsoil, gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and green pasturage. The area, rateable value, and the population (civil), are included in those of Colton.