Hamlets and homesteads

Hamlet Statistics

Each of the settlement groups you can access from these pages has statistics which have been extracted from the relevant censuses. As far as I know, this work has not been done before.

Because of the nature of the landscape and climate, the Marsden area did not have the Midlands-style settlement pattern of a centrally-placed village with a few outlying farms (the first caused by the open field system of arable farming, the second by Enclosure - see Hoskins, The Making of the English Landscape). The pattern in Marsden is one of piecemeal clearances of the forest and 'waste', marked by scattered farmsteads and small, irregularly-shaped fields.

As a result, it is difficult to be precise about the boundaries of the settlement groups around Marsden. They are better described as areas than hamlets. Clough Lee seems to be an exception to this, however. The number of households in Clough Lee changed very little, even though there was a massive in crease in population elsewhere. In 1881, there were 30 households; 10 years later there were 35 . The three new houses can still be seen, attached to the ends of the old cottages, and there were no additions in the 20th Century. The population of Clough Lee was unusual, too, because it declined in number in the 1880's, from 141 in 1881 to 127 in 1891. However, this is unusual. The expansion of Clough Lee, such as it was, took place 1841-1881. In 1841, there were only 11 households, so Clough Lee trebled in size in the 40 years after that date.

Planks was similarly of a piece, mainly due to the geographical barriers of the two rivers. Apart from these two examples, however, the 'hamlets' in these pages consist of the main homesteads, called the name of the hamlet in the censuses, plus nearby farms and houses. With new building, these included dwellings were added to, and where possible I have included a list of such peripheral dwellings.