A.D. Lindsay's oldest son, Michael Lindsay frequently holidayed in the Lake District as a child. In 1956, when Gillbank Cottage and Mill became available for sale, Michael and his wife Hsiao Li Lindsay purchased the property as a gift to their three young children: Erica, Jim, and Mary. Michael had enterprising plans to develop mill back into a working building, but faced stiff opposition from the planning authorities and eventually gave up.
Original parts of the cottage date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries. Additions and alterations over the years have changed the overall shape, but the initial property can be found in the small room off of the living room. The one metre (3 feet) walls and small windows are typical of early cottage construction before modern insulation and heating. Originally the property was quite basic. The old bobbin mill on Whillen Beck had been virtually destroyed by a fire in the early Fifties. The cottage provided the residence.
A full record of the ownership of Gillbank Cottage, the farm and the mill from 1696 to 1955 can be found at Past Presented