Until 1898, the chapelry of Marsden lay within the separate ecclesiastical parishes of Almondbury and Huddersfield, with the River Colne marking the division between to the two parishes. The two parts were designated Marsden in Almondbury (south of the river) and Marsden in Huddersfield (north of the river). Both parts were formally abolished on 25 March 1898 to form the combined civil parish of Marsden.
Pigot and Co.'s Royal National and Commercial Directory of August 1841:
Marsden is an extensive and populous chapelry, partly in the parish of Huddersfield, but chiefly in that of Almondbury, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Biding ; 5 miles north from Delph (in Saddleworth), 7 south-west from Huddersfield, and 17 north-east from Manchester ; situated on the banks of the Wessenden and the Colne — the latter stream, after receiving the former, separating the two parishes of Huddersfield and Almondbury. The manufacture of woollen cloth is carried on to a considerable extent in the chapelry and neighbourhood ; and there is likewise a mill for spinning silk, which employs a number of hands : formerly cotton was the staple of the place, but it is now nearly extinct. There is an iron foundry of some note, of which Messrs. Taylor and Co. are the proprietors ; it is conducted with superior skill, particularly in the manufacture of water wheels, steam engines and steam engine boilers, which branch has been the means of carrying the names of the proprietors into the principal manufacturing districts. The Huddersfield and Manchester canal passes through this chapelry, in a direction from east to west. At the distance of half a mile from the village is the famous tunnel under the hill of Standedge, — an achievement of skill and industry scarcely exceeded by the Thames tunnel in London. It was commenced under the superintendence of the celebrated James Brindley, and occupied twenty years in constructing : its length, from one side of the mountain to the other, is rather more than three miles and a quarter, and its line is at an elevation of six hundred and fifty-five feet above the level of the sea.
A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) edited by Samuel Lewis:
MARSDEN, a chapelry, partly in the parish of Huddersfield, but chiefly in that of Aldmondbury, union of Huddersfield, Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 7 miles (S. W. by W.) from Huddersfield ; containing 2403 inhabitants. This chapelry is situated on the river Colne, and comprises about 8670 acres, of which 4050 are in the parish of Huddersfield; the surface is diversified with hill and dale, and the scenery generally characterised by a boldness of aspect, to which the lofty hills of Saddleworth, immediately adjoining, materially contribute. The village, which is extensive, is on the road from Huddersfield to Manchester, at the confluence of the rivers Colne and Wessenden, and near the base of Pule and Standedge. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the manufacture of woollen-cloth, which is carried on to a considerable extent in mills, the machinery of which is put in motion by numerous copious and rapid streams; there are also factories for spinning cotton and one for twisting silk, an iron-foundry, and a steam-engine manufactory. The Manchester and Huddersfield canal at this place enters a tunnel under the Standedge mountain, more than three miles in length, opening into the hilly district of Saddleworth ; and near the mouth of the tunnel is a reservoir for the canal, which, from its beauty, has obtained the appellation of the Windermere of Marsden. The present chapel, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, was erected at the expense of the inhabitants, in 1758, on the site of a building which had become dilapidated; it is a neat structure in the Norman style, and contains about 650 sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Almondbury, endowed by Edward IV., in 1462, with four marks payable out of the manor, which grant was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth, and is still received by the minister ; net income, £150. Here are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. At Highgate are some remains of the ancient manor-house.
Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1872) edited by John Marius Wilson:
MARSDEN, a village and a township-chapelry in Almondbury and Huddersfield parishes, W. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Colne, adjacent to the Manchester and Huddersfield canal and to the Manchester and Leeds railway, under the backbone of England, 4¾ miles E of the boundary with Lancashire, and 7¼ SW by S of Huddersfield; is a large place; and has a station on the railway, a post office under Huddersfield, and fairs on 25 April, 10 July, and 25 Sept. The chapelry comprises 5,016 acres in [Almondbury] parish, and 2,050 in [Huddersfield] parish. Real property, £6,226; of which £319 are in quarries, and £150 in gas-works. Pop. of the A. portion in 1851,2,153; in 1861,2,027. Houses, 428. Pop. of the H. portion in 1851,512; in 1861,662. Houses, 138. The increase of pop. in this portion arose from the enlargement of a cotton mill, and from employment on the railway and in the woollen mills. The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Bart. Great part of the land is uncultivated moor and mountain. A tunnel of the railway, no less than 3 miles 61 yards long, begins a little W of the village; and a tunnel of the canal adjoins the railway one. A cotton factory, a silk factory, several woollen mills, an extensive iron foundry, and a large corn mill are in operation. The township adopted the local government act in 1860, and is now governed by a local board. A mechanics' hall, connected with a mechanics' institution dating from 1841, was erected in 1861, at a cost of £2,500; is in the Italian style; and has an apartment with capacity for 1,000 persons. Mr. W. Horsfall of Marsden, in consequence of having introduced improved machinery, was shot in 1812 by the Luddites. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £174. Patron, the Vicar of Almondbury. The old church is a plain, ancient, stone building; comprises aisles and chancel, with a belfry; and was reported in 1859 as bad. The new church was built in 1867, at a cost of £7,235; and is in the geometric middle pointed style. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, a national school, and a town school. The Independent chapel was rebuilt about 1860, and is in the pointed style. The national school was built in 1856, at a cost of £2,000.
The extent of the Township of Marsden in Almondbury (compiled from O.S. maps of the early 1890s) is shown below.