Great Marsden

Great Marsden is now called Nelson.

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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.* Patrons 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 Wesleyans, and two for Primitive Methodists, three national schools, and a mechanics' institution.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

Archives and libraries

Nelson Library,
Market Square,



Details about the census records, and indexes for Great & Little Marsden.

Church History

Church Records

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Great Marsden area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Great Marsden area is Burnley and Pendle.

Description and Travel

Local information about Nelson provided by Pendle.Net.

You can see pictures of Great Marsden which are provided by:


Ask for the gazetteer for a calculation of the distance from Great Marsden to another place.

Historical Geography

In 1835 Great and Little Marsden was a township in the parish of Whalley.


View maps of Great Marsden and places within its boundaries.

A map of Great Marsden around 1890.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SD858370 (Lat/Lon: 53.829066, -2.217232), Great Marsden which are provided by:

Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Great Marsden was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.