Rev. Bellas opened a church day school in a one storey cottage in Market Place but later removed to a house where the Swan Inn now stands. With his son, Richard, the school continued until his death in 1815.
Town School in Brougham Road was the first purpose built school in Marsden. It was erected in 1820 at a cost of £400 raised by public subscription. It became known as Mr. Webster's school as he was the first headmaster, staying in post until his death in 1876. He was appointed at the age of 25 and lived in Idle Row. Fees were 10 pence per week.
In 1877 the school was rebuilt at a cost of £1200, again raised by public subscription. Part of a piece of land formerly called the Haum Ing Nook was incorporated to form the girls' playground. William Griffiths, a Welshman, was head during the 1890's and in the early 1900s. In 1879 an Infant's Department was opened in the Mechanics Hall with Miss D. Killin as mistress.
The Church School. Back Lane, was built in 1829 for 134 children with a staff of two. It was financed by public subscription and a 100 pounds grant from the National Society. The first headmaster is not known. The second was Thomas Lawford who took over in 1834. Fie was followed by Mr. Taylor in 1840. Richard Bamford who came from Lingards and lived in Chapel Fold took over in 1845.
The school closed on 21/8/1910 and scholars were transferred to the Town School Infant's Department, having previously transferred the junior school age children to the National School in 1856. The building was then used as a Parish Room until the Parochial Hall was built in 1924/25. This had been precipitated by the Council's plans to demolish property in Church Lane in order to widen it and to extend the graveyard.
In 1832, a group of non-conformists set up a Sunday School, in a barn near the Rose & Crown, on the moors above Slaithwaite. In 1834, they moved into a room in the Rose & Crown, then, a few years later, into a nearby house.
In the 1850s another move was necessary, to Bank Nook, owned by Joseph Shaw. Much of the land in Slaithwaite was owned by the Earl of Dartmouth, who would not have non-conformist chapels or schools in the village, and when Joseph Shaw died, Dartmouth bought the property and closed the school.
The school searched for premises in Marsden, where Dartmouth could not influence matters, and in 1862 a Sunday School was built at Lingards Wood Bottom, just inside the Marsden boundary, officially opening on 10 September 1863.
The school was famous for its athletic teams, and its climbing team was so successful it was banned from competitions!
The National School opened at Whitsuntide, 1856 'amid great rejoicing and the inevitable meat tea at the Old Ram Inn'. It had been built for £2000 which was raised by the Church through voluntary contributions and grants to house 435 children. The first head was Richard Bamford who had transferred from the Church School. On his retirement in 1880 his son-in-law, Alfred Hirst was appointed and remained in post for forty years. His long service was rewarded by the presentation of a gold watch chain by his old scholars and friends.
He was succeeded by Harry Whitehead who was head from 1920 to 1949 when an already serving teacher, Thomas Carr, became head and remained so until the school closed in September 1960. The administration of the school has transferred from the Church to the WRCC in 1902. The building was demolished in 1967.
See Marsden National School for further information.
The Council School was built in 1910 on Manchester Road and remains today as the Junior School. Thomas Carr transferred to the school as head when the National School closed in 1960. The School had become a junior school with the opening of Colne Valley High School.
Marsden children who wished to continue beyond the elementary stage had to travel outside the village to have a Grammar School education. There was a Grammar School at Longwood which was attended by some Marsden pupils. In 1868 it had 60 pupils and fees were 6d per week.