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.
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 April 2017
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