MARSDEN, GREAT, a township, in the parochial chapelry of Colne, parish of Whalley, union of Burnley, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of Lancashire, 3½ miles ( N. E. by N.) from Burnley; containing 1987 inhabitants. This place was anciently called Merclesden, and Merlesden. In the 35th of Henry III., Edmund de Lacy obtained a charter for free warren in "Great and Little Merlesden;" and in the 4th of Edward II., a fishery existed here, by grant from Henry de Lacy. Richard Merclesden was master forester of Blackburnshire to Isabella, dowager queen, in the reign of Edward III.; and in the same reign, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, granted a tract of land in Merclesden to Richard de Walton. The township is within the manor of Ightenhill Park, and is a pleasant and flourishing locality, containing some good mausions, among which are Marsden Hall and Catlow, the latter a modernised seat. At Cattover is an extensive quarry of fine grit, producing 150 tons per diem of flag and other stone; it is leased from the lord of the manor to Messrs. Thomas and Benjamin Chaffer, by whom the produce is sent by canal, chiefly to Manchester and Liverpool. A church district was endowed in 1845 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: the living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £150, and in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester, alternately. The church is dedicated to St. John. The Wesleyans have a place of worship.