Nicholas Moore writes:-
William Barratt was born in 1817 in Mary Tavy, Devon, to a famous mining family. By age 24 he was living in Coniston and had a role at the copper mines under his uncle, John Barratt who had established the mines some years previously. At some point, William took up lodgings with the Sanders family of Hoathwaite farm, Torver. He and the Sanders' daughter, Sarah, married in 1843, both aged 26. In 1845, William and Sarah moved an old cottage on the site of what is now Holly How. They had six children, five of whom survived to adulthood.
In the 1850s, William joined with his uncle as minor shareholder in opening the iron mine at Hodbarrow, near Millom. It was a phenomenal success. In the following years, William built up the old cottage into a great house and had the grounds enlarged and planted, and the driveway and lawn laid out. By the 1880s, the grounds included a walled kitchen garden with heated greenhouse, an orchard and a hen run. The outbuilding housed pig sties, a coach house, stables, and a wash house. The Barratts employed servants, gardeners and a coachman. After William died in 1881, Sarah Barratt went on living there until her death in 1887. Holly How remained in the family but was rented out to various tenants until it was sold in 1925.
William worked as general manager at Hodbarrow for many years and would have been able to commute there by train. He later became a JP. William and Sarah are buried in the churchyard in Torver. They had remained closely associated with Torver throughout their lives, becoming major landowners there and being generous patrons of Torver church. The main stained glass window in St Andrew's church, Coniston, was installed by their children and there is a plaque dedicating it to their memory.
Their son, James, inherited Holywath, after Catherine Bousfield left it to him in her will.