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.
|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.|
|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.|
|1745||The Two Dutchmen Inn, Towngate|
|1770||The Traveller's Rest, Chain Road|
|1775||Mellors Bridge, at Clough Lee|
|1782||Clough Lee cottages|
|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|
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.
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.