Where it all began...
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 Lancashire’s largest building society…
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 £1,988.22 in 1860, you could have bought 2 horses, 6 cows or 50 stones of wool!
1885 – A 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.
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.
1938 – A great milestone
By now, Marsden Building Society had supported an advance of over £4.5 million of mortgages!
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.
1961 – The Marsden purchases the Majestic Theatre
In 1961, the Marsden purchased the Majestic Theatre, Nelson to make way for Principal Office.
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.
2011 – Chief Executive appointed
Our current Chief Executive, Rob Pheasey, was appointed in 2011 after a long career with the Marsden.
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.
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.
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.”
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…