Scattered hamlets

This was the original settlement pattern around Marsden. Indeed, Marsden itself would have been just one of a number of homesteads scattered across the area. It would have been no more or less important than any other. Because of the landscape, this was frontier country, and it was never like the arable lands of the Midlands. As a result, settlements did not cluster in a central, convenient village, nor was it excluded from field systems or estates.

Dates of buildings in Marsden

pre-1650   Building in Towngate is claimed to be the oldest.
1610   Higher Green Owlers. Verified by datestone. It was once a local brewery on the packhorse road to Rochdale.
1616   The Manor House. John Wesley stayed here when he preached in Marsden in 1746.
1671   Green Top
1674   Clark Hill
1670   White Hall Farm, rebuilt 1855
1685   Berry Greave. This was the original centre of the Baptist movement in Marsden, till it became too small.
1744   Planks
1745   The Two Dutchmen Inn, Towngate
1770   The Traveller's Rest, Chain Road
1772   Stubbins
1773   Steep Farm
1775   Mellors Bridge, at Clough Lee
1782   Clough Lee cottages
1797   Idle Row
1798   Snailhorn Bridge, at the bottom of Peel Street. The present bridge was built in 1891.
1798   Kaye's Bridge at the bottom of Towngate. Replaced in 1876.
1860   Robinson's Mill built in Clough Lee
1861   Marsden Mechanics Institute
1867   Bank Bottom Mills built by John Crowther
1889   1 Clough Lea, by William Holroyd of Smithy Holme

Weavers' cottages

A dual economy operated in the Marsden area. The land was not productive enough for people to survive by farming, and the inhabitants tended to earn a living through a combination of stock-rearing and weaving at home. Houses were built with long upper windows, to allow as much light as possible into the working area.

Terraced housing

With the growth of the factory system in the 19th Century, much new housing was needed for the workers in the mills. Terraces of stone back-to-back houses were thrown up by the mill-owners to house their workforce.