In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Marsden like this:
MARSDEN, a township and two chapelries in Whalley parish, Lancashire. The township consists of the two chapelries, called Little M. and Great M.; lies on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, 2½ and 4 miles NE of Burnley; has two stations on the railway, at Brierfield for Little M., and at Nelson for Great M.; and has a post office,‡ of the name of Nelson-in-Marsden, under Burnley. Acres, of Little M., 1,470; of Great M., 2,890. Real property of the whole, £27,821; of which £1,304 are in quarries, and £11,068 in mines. ...
Pop. of Little M., in 1851,3,997; in 1861,5,162. Houses, 1,005. Pop. of Great M., in 1851,2,071; in 1861,2,180. Houses, 422. The increase of pop. was caused by the erection of cotton-mills. The property both of Little M. and of Great M. is much subdivided. Marsden Hall is the seat of W. Pinder, Esq.; Southfield, of N. England, Esq.; and Spring House, of T. Mason, Esq. Nelson, in Little M., is lighted with gas, and publishes a weekly newspaper. The cotton manufacture is carried on, and coal and stone abound. Little M. is a p. curacy, Great M. a vicarage, in the dio. of Manchester. Value of Little M., £180;* of Great M., £300.* IPatrons of the former, Hulme's Trustees; of the latter, alt. the Crown and the Bishop. The church of Little M. is a plain stone building; and that of Great M. was erected in 1848, at a cost of £2,050, and is in the pointed style. There are chapels for Independents and Quakers, three for Wesleyaus, and two for Primitive Methodists, three national schools, and a mechanics' institution.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Marsden has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Pendle. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Marsden and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Marsden, in Pendle and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th January 2015
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Marsden".