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The Parish of Nelson
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Nelson is a rapidly improving manufacturing town and municipal borough two miles from Colne and three from Burnley, and in the parliamentary division of Clitheroe. It is largely engaged in the manufacture of cotton, worsted, silk, and fancy dress goods; and here are also iron and brass foundries, stone quarries, corn mills, and various other important trades and professions.

A Charter of Incorporation was granted on the 17th April 1890, and since then still greater progress has been made, especially in the erection of public buildings and in the improvements of the street architecture generally.

Amongst the improvements may be mentioned, a new sewerage scheme, just completed at a cost of £20,000; the Technical Instruction Act adopted, and a school built at a cost of £11,000; an electric lighting scheme, at a cost of £10,000; land purchased for a new cemetery, at a cost of £10,000; and the extension of the Town Hall, at a cost of £10,000. Under “The Local Government Act, 1894,” the borough returns four Guardians to the Burnley Union. The town is divided into six wards, with three councilors and one alderman to each ward, thus forming a council of 24 members.

..The accommodation for public worship, which had long been inadequate, was materially increased by the erection of St. Mary’s Church. The foundation stone of this edifice was laid on the 16th June, 1877, and the consecration took place on March 25, 1879. The site was given by W. Farrer Ecroyd, Esq., J.P., and this gentleman and his brother, Edward Ecroyd, Esq., contributed the handsome sum of £2,000 each to the building, the cost of which was about £10,000.

The designs were supplied by Messrs. Waddington and Son, of Burnley, and the style of architecture is that which prevailed in the 18th century. The plan consists of nave, north and south aisles, and chancel.

There will also be western tower, with spire, which will rise to the height of 170 feet, and a south porch. The church contains 600 sittings, all of which are free and unappropriated. In addition to the amount previously mentioned, given by Mr. W.F. Ecroyd, he also contributed £1,000 towards an endowment of land.

The benefice is a vicarage of the annual value of £244, in the patronage of five trustees, and held by the Rev. Harri Edwards. The population of the parish in 1891 was 11,459.

St. John the Evangelist Church is situate in Great Marsden. It is a neat edifice, erected in 1848, at a cost of £2,050. It is now (1896) being restored at a cost of £2,500, and 1-1/2 acres of land have been added to the churchyard. There are 500 sittings, of which 300 are free. The benefice is a vicarage of the annual value of £306, in the patronage of the Crown and Bishop alternately, and held by the Rev. George A. Fry, M.A. The population of the parish in 1891 was 10,163.

St. Paul’s Church, Little Marsden, is an ancient structure, dating from the 13th century, but rebuilt in 1809. It contains 411 sittings, all of which are free. The benefice is a vicarage of the annual value of £360, in the patronage of Hulme’s Trustees and held by the Rev. H. J. Stephens, M.A.

St. Phillip’s Mission Church, Leeds Road, was erected in 1886, at a cost of £1,560, but it is shortly to be replaced by a permanent stone structure.

The Wesleyan Chapel, Carr Road, was built in 1863 at a cost of £3,450. An organ, which cost £1,000, has been recently supplied. The Wesleyan Chapel, Railway Street, was opened in April, 1890. It is handsomely and strongly built of stone, and cost about £8,000. The building, which is fitted up with electric light, will seat 1,200 persons. Other chapels belonging to this body are situated in Cooper Street, Reedyford (Trinity), Bradley Hall, and Southfield.

The Baptist Chapel, Carr Road, is a handsome edifice, erected in 1875, at a cost, including schools, of about £5,000. George Foster, Esq., of Sabden, subscribed £1,000, and Edward Ecroyd, Esq., £500 to the building. It has accommodation for 600 persons. Rev. D. McCallum, minister. Another chapel of small dimensions, belonging to this body, was built in Elizabeth Street in 1892.

The United Methodist Chapel, Stanley Street, was built in 1869. It is a handsome edifice, in the Italian style of architecture, and will accommodate about 800 persons. The cost of its erection was about £3000. In connection with this place of worship is a Sunday School, which was formerly used as a chapel, and a small chapel in Regent Street. Rev. Edward Dineley, pastor.

The Primitive Methodists have a neat chapel in Scotland Road, built in 1878-9, and one of a later date in Netherfield Road, constructed of iron. Rev. J.T. Barkby, minister.

Salem Chapel (Independent Methodist), Scotland Road, is a handsome structure which has replaced a smaller building erected in 1869. A tower, which stands at the extreme corner of the chapel, is an ornamental feature of the design. The cost of erection was over £5,000, and there is accommodation for 900 worshippers. Other chapels belonging to the Independent Methodists are situated in Barkerhouse Road, Bradshaw Street, and Larch Street.

The Congregational Church, situated in Manchester Road, has replaced the old school-chapel in Lomeshaye Road. It is in the Early English style of architecture, from designs by George Fell, Esq., of Manchester, and it seats 750 people comfortably. At the font there are two entrances, giving access by stone stair-cases to galleries, and a large central doorway for ground floor, and which may be said to be canopied, with ornamental gable, surmounted by a handsome three-light traceried window, flanked by piers, octagonal above roof and capped with moulded circular finial rising to a height of 70 feet above the street giving to the whole a bold aspect, and yet not detracting from its ecclesiastical character. The walls are faced with parpoints and dressed quoins from a local quarry. The chapel and land cost £4,300. A school was erected in 1889 close to the chapel, and recently a mission church has been built in Southfield Street. Rev. A.E. Killon, minister.

The Inghamites have a chapel in Russell Street, and the Gospel Hall, Bradley Road, is the meeting place of the Christian Brethren. The Free Gospel Chapel (Mount Zion), is situated in Railway Street. The Salvation Army have their head-quarters in the Public Hall, Leeds Road.

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Chapel, Every Street, was opened December 16, 1883. The present school-chapel will accommodate about 300, and cost, together with the land, about £1,500. The building is a plain, substantial structure, erected from plans drawn by Mr. Simpson, architect, Bradford, Yorkshire. The day schools were opened on January 7th, 1884. Both chapel and schools being entirely inadequate to the increasing population, a new church and school are to be immediately erected at a cost of £4,000, the church to seat 800 persons, and the school to accommodate over 3200 senior scholars. The catholic population is 1,100. The work of building and establishing this, the first Catholic mission in the district, was carried out by the Rev. D.F. Reynders, who had charge of the mission up to 1887. The Revs. Robert Smith, Thomas Chronnell, and John Mead are the present pastors. The adjoining small missions of Briarfield and Barrowford are served here.

The Craven Bank, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, the Manchester and County Bank, and the Union Bank of Manchester have each a branch here. The building occupied by the Craven Bank has been recently built, and has an imposing appearance. The Conservatives and Liberals have each a well-attended Club.

The Grand Theatre is centrally situated, and is well patronized. The Queen’s Hall, Bradley Road, will seat 1,200 persons. The Victoria Hall is in Scotland Road; and in North Street are Public Baths. A handsome and commodious Railway Station was opened in July, 1892, the cost of its erection being £25,000.

From: General and Commercial Directory of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Padiham, Barrowford, Brierfield, Cliviger, Trawden, Barnoldswick, and Adjacent Villages and Townships. By P. Barrett & Co. Preston: 1896. Pages 364, 366-368.

Entered here 24 September 2004 by Lynn Ransom Burton.

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