Brierfield has links with the Quaker Movement and their meeting house at Marsden Cross and the quaint Quaker Bridge still stand. Later the town owed its growth to the discovery of coal in the 19th century. When the pits were exhausted the railway, the canal and cotton industry came. Today the majestic Brierfield Mills still dominate the town.
Brierfield is a small town situated between Nelson and Burnley. It has a population of around 9,000. Brierfield, was known as Little Marsden until the middle of the 19th century, became a legal township in 1868. Before this it was governed by the Local Board, of which Henry Tunstill was Chairman for many years.
It was Henry Tunstill who recognised that the proximity of the coal pits and canal made this a good area for industrial development. He built the first cotton mill, which started production in 1836.In 1848 he was instrumental in bringing the railway to Brierfield, thereby providing transport for his woven goods along with that already provided by the canal.
In 1894 elections were held for the new Brierfield Urban District Council, which remained in place until 1974 when re-organisation of local government took place. Brierfield House, the home of Henry Tunstill, became the Town Hall.
The Holy City
By the end of the 19th century, Brierfield had nine places of worship. This gained the town the nick-name “The Holy City” shouted by tram conductors, and later, the conductors on the buses which were introduced in the1930s and saw the end of the cobbled main road and the tram lines.
In 2013 a new place of worship was opened in the heart of town; Brierfield Sultania Mosque. The mosque cost around £3M to build and was paid by the Mosque membership. It’s the largest Mosque in Lancashire and has the capacity to hold more 2 thousand people.