Concept

Nelson, Lancashire

Summary
Nelson is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Pendle in Lancashire, England, with a population of 29,135 in 2011. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Burnley and 2.5 miles southwest of Colne. It developed as a mill town during the Industrial Revolution, but has today lost much of its industry and is characterised by some of the lowest house prices in the whole of the United Kingdom. An Iron Age hillfort called Castercliff is on a hill to the east of the town. The modern town spans the two parts of the township of Marsden in the ancient parish of Whalley. Little Marsden was on the southwest of Walverden Water, its lands considered part of the manor of Ightenhill and Great Marsden to the northeast, part of the manor of Colne. Great Marsden included the southern parts of Colne, and Little Marsden included all of modern-day Brierfield. Walverden Water joins Pendle Water next to Nelson & Colne College, with that river forming the boundary of the Forest of Pendle. Both the manors and forest were parts of the Honour of Clitheroe. The lord of Clitheroe had a mill on the river in 1311, thought to have been sited near the confluence with Clough Head Beck, where Scholefield Mill now stands. There is also evidence of an ancient fulling mill further upstream. A small chapel is thought to have been built during the reign of Henry VIII on the site of St Paul's Church. The forest of Pendle was made famous by the Pendle witch trials of 1612. One of the accused in the less well-known witch trials of 1634, Margaret Johnson, confessed that she first met her familiar in Marsden. A small mill had been established by the Ecroyd family at Edge End as early as 1740, and they started Lomeshaye Mill as a water-powered spinning mill in 1780. The coming of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1796, followed by the East Lancashire Railway Line in 1849, spurred its development as an industrial town, with an economy based mainly upon cotton weaving.
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