In 1921, the land and estate were both sold at auction and purchased by Townley Parker. The sale catalogue for the estate and Bailrigg mansion gives a vivid impression of what the house was like, as do the pictures that were taken of the house’s interior.
By the time of the 1930s Ordnance Survey map, the estate had all the features of a small landed estate.
In 1963, Bailrigg Estate and most of the surrounding land succumbed to the student invasion. The Townleys were approached by Don Wadell, the Town Clerk of Lancaster to see if they would sell the house and its property for the construction of the new university. They were eventually persuaded to sell their mansion and Bigforth farm for £50,000.
Bigforth farm consisted of around 200 acres. Later, 50 acres at Hazelrigg Farm were bought, and then 90 acres at Bakers Farm in 1967. The area of land chosen as the site of the new university was a rich tapestry of copses, small patches of water and grassland with a number of stone farmhouses and buildings typical of North Lancashire and the Lake District. During the construction process, many of the belts of woodland along the north and east sides of the campus were preserved and can still be seen today.