In early documents from the 13th century onwards references to Lickbarrow have a variety of exotic spellings – Lickeberg, Licbergh,Lykeberghe, Likebergh, Licberg, Lekberg, Lykebarrange, Lykbergh, Lickbergh, Likebarough, Lickbarrowe, Luckbarrow. The records are fragmentary and confusing until 1694 when High Lickbarrow (with its spelling now settled) was bought by William Benson for £350.
Remarkably, ownership stayed with descendants of William Benson for 250 years, passing through seven generations:
William Benson who bought High Lickbarrow in 1694 (died 1734)
His son William Benson (1698-1775)
His sons William (l74l-I809) and John Benson (1744-1820)
John's son Robert Benson (1769-1850)
His daughter Mary Ann Benson (1797-1884), who married James Longmire (died 1874)
Their daughter lane Longmire (born 1834) married Samuel Dixon, who bought High Lickbarrow at auction in 1885 for £1500 after the death of Jane's mother
Their daughter Dora Marian Dixon (1870-1946).
The report of the sale in 1885 described High Lickbarrow as ‘one of the few remaining yeomanry estates at one time so numerous in Westmorland‘. The sales particulars say that ‘The Property is a compact little Farm, charmingly situated, within easy distance of both Bowness and Windermere. and commanding, as it does, most extensive views, it is also admirably suited for Building purposes.‘
In May I946 the farm buildings and about 37 acres of land were bought from the estate of Dora Marian Dixon by Mr and Mrs Smiddy of Heathwaite Manor for £3,450. They were then sold to Ronald Baxter Bottomley in February I947 for £4,500, with an additional ﬁve acres of land near Matson Ground.
The buildings are hard to date precisely. Michael recorded that. ‘At least one of the two houses at High Lickbarrow was here when the property was purchased by William Benson of Crosthwaite. Apart from the main walls and roof timbers, the ﬁrst floor of the main house appears to be of 17th century date. The two houses, originally detached, were probably linked together about 1800 for under the will of John Benson (died 1820) his sister was allowed the use of ‘the new room’ for her lifetime. Both houses were modernised in the mid-19th century when the sash windows were inserted, new doors provided and internal reconstruction took place with the provision of new partitions, stairs, some floors & ceilings. A further modernisation and enlargement was carried out in 1949.
During the Bottomleys‘ ownership more land was purchased. Eventually Michael Bottomley left the farm buildings and 82 acres of land to the National Trust.