We're here to help
Telephone icon 01282 440500 *

Our Heritage

Black & white image showing the inside of an old Marsden branch

On 29th February 1860, a group of local businessmen met at the house of Mr Thomas Holland, in the town of Nelson, Lancashire, and that’s where our story begins. Take a trip down memory lane to find out how we’ve come to be the largest Lancashire-based building society…

Timeline 1860


The Marsden is founded

The Marsden began life on 29 February 1860, as the Great and Little Marsden Permanent Benefit Building Society, with subscriptions amounting to just £33 12s 6d (the equivalent of £1,988.22 today!). Within the first year this had grown to £538 and within five years assets had reached £14,500.

Did you know… With £33 12s 6d, you could have bought 2 horses, 6 cows or 50 stones of wool!

Timeline 1885


A new change for the Marsden

In 1885, the town of Nelson was growing and a proposal was made to change the name to the Nelson Building Society…

But we were too late! The town of Nelson in Wales had already taken the name for its own building society and ‘Marsden Building Society’ was here to stay.

Did you know… The Society’s Principal Office sits on the border of what used to be ‘Little’ and ‘Great’ Marsden, which over time developed into the town of Nelson.

Timeline 1910


Our Board of Directors

A lot has changed over the years, but our Board of Directors are still as important as ever. They provide us with invaluable, unbiased knowledge and experience to help us to deliver the best service to our members – much like the Board members from 1910 would have done! View our Board of Directors on ‘Our Board’ page.

Timeline 1938


A great milestone

By now, Marsden Building Society had supported an advance of over £4.5 million of mortgages!

Timeline 1960


100 years old

100 years on from that first meeting, we celebrated our centenary with assets exceeding £7.5 million!

The Marsden and its members could look back at the continued progress of the Society in the knowledge that the trust placed in them by the Society’s founders a hundred years earlier had been achieved.

Timeline 1961


The Marsden purchases the Majestic Theatre

In 1961, the Marsden purchased the Majestic Theatre, Nelson to make way for Principal Office.

Timeline 1964


Principal Office opens

The banking hall in Principal Office, Nelson was opened by Sir Harold Parkinson in 1964.

This is now where our Nelson branch is used by over 8,000 members on a regular basis and our business functions keep us ticking over behind the scenes.

Timeline 2011


Chief Executive appointed

Our current Chief Executive, Rob Pheasey, was appointed in 2011 after a long career with the Marsden.

Timeline 2016


Branch openings

In 2016, our Clitheroe and Poulton branches opened, which brought our total up to 8 branches across Lancashire.

Find your local branch on our ‘Find a branch’ page.

Timeline 2018


Guernsey mortgages introduced

We travelled across the English Channel to Guernsey to increase our mortgage support.

We’re partnered with SPF Private Clients to provide mortgages to residents on the island.

Timeline 2019


Marsden reaches half a billion milestone

Less than 160 years after opening, we reached half a billion pounds – a great milestone for the Marsden!

Rob Pheasey, Chief Executive of the Marsden said, “I am immensely proud of what the Marsden team has achieved. Together, we’ve delivered a strong year of performance, both financially and with the organisational capability to support our future services. 2019 will be an equally busy period for the Marsden, our continued success dependent upon the commitment and enthusiasm we bring as a team.”

Timeline 2020


An unforgettable year...

2020 was the year of our 160th birthday, and we had so many plans to celebrate with you, our members. It was also the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, so we had to put some of those plans on hold to help keep everyone safe…

Timeline 2021


Highly commended for supporting colleagues

In 2021, we were recognised for the support we provided to colleagues over the course of the pandemic, with a ‘Highly Commended’ third place result for ‘Best Employee Support Strategy During a Crisis’ in the 2021 Engage Awards.

Timeline 2022


A Real Living Wage employer

We were accredited as a Real Living Wage employer in 2022, meaning we pay our colleagues a higher rate of pay than the Government’s National Living Wage, supporting our ongoing commitment to making the Marsden an even greater place to work.

Woman works on community garden project after receiving funding from the Marsden Building Society Charitable Foundation.


Marsden Building Society Charitable Foundation

We launched the Marsden Building Society Charitable Foundation in 2023. Each year, the Foundation will provide funding for projects in Lancashire supporting our three key themes.

Our Community

Our Community

Our Community Marsden Building Society

We always try and give back where we can, through sponsorships, by supporting local events and fundraising for causes across the region.

Our community
About us

About us

About Us Card

Find out more about the Marsden, including why our people are what make us different and get to know our Board.

About the Marsden
Watermark of a rose

Sign up to our

If you’d like to find out about our latest news, products and services, sign up to our e-newsletter. We won’t bombard you with emails and we’ll always treat your personal data with care.

Your privacy is important to us and we’ll ensure that your details are accurate and kept up-to-date. View our Privacy page.