- Last Updated: Saturday, 07 November 2020 18:59
- Written by Graham Brooks
Nelsons of Carlisle were a part of the Thomas Nelson building empire.
Thomas was born at Browhouses near Annan, Scotland to Francis and Mary Nelson. Francis was a contractor and worked local quarries. Thomas was baptised at Gretna on July 13 1807. The family moved to Dalston, Cumbria where his brother James was born in 1822. Thomas served his apprenticeas a stone mason with Mr Sanderson in Carlisle allong with Charles Armstrong who also went on to be a significant builder in the Carlisle area. After completing his aprenticeship he spent some time in London before returning to Carlisle in 1830 to establish his own marble works. Initially the business was based in New road (Corporation St) He then moved to between Crosby Street and Earl Street. He rented quarries near Wetheral station to supply his expanding business. He moved to Crown Street but the land on which yard was situated was required for the new Citadel station and in 1846 he moved to Borough Mill Fields next to the Gas works. This yard was connected to the railway system. This connection allowed the business to develop.
Thomas was in partnership with his younger brother James and traded under the name of Nelson Brothers, they were general builders and also major railway ocntractors.
in 1874 the site of the marble works was required for the Victoria Viaduct (built by Nelsons) a new site on Junction Street. Around this time Thomas Nelson retired, he died in1890 aged 83.
1st Editon Ordnance Survey Map 1860 for Carlisle showing the marble works on Mill Street between the railway and the Gasworks.
The businness continued as T. Nelson & Co. under the guidance of James Nelson and three of Thomas Nelson sons.
The firm went bankrupt in 1901.
From the above history it will be deduced that neither of the Nelsons were the stone masons and that the monuments assigned to them would be produced by employed masons.
ADVERT CARLISLE JOURNAL 6TH APRIL 1883.
The above advert would suggest that the majority of monuments sold were imported directly from Italy as basic designs with just simple architectural embellishments. This would suggest that Nelsons were mainly 'inscribers', rather than actual masons/sculptors.
Letterhead for Carlisle Marble works.
As well as marble meorials they also had for a period the contract for supplying memorials in red Shap granite
The marble works also appears to have been the main offices and yard for the local building side of the business and supplied a range of items to the local building trade.
Advert for a selecton of ranges and stoves etc. Carlisle Journal 20th January 1860.
Memorial St. Michael's Church, Brugh-bySands church to John Hewson died 15th March 1856.
Another example from St. Micael's Brugh-by-Sands to Thomas Rigg died 14th July 1859.
Memorial in Dacre Church to Anthony Parkin died 7th february 1890. (born 11th December 1803).
Wall tablet to Dorothy Anne Monins.
Memorial in St Bartholomews Church, Loweswater to Reverend Jeramiah Atkinson died February 1858.
St Bartholomews church, Loweswater to Mary Fletcher died December 1820.
Memorial in St. Mary's church Wigton. James Warwick Jackson died May 1838.
Memorial in St. Mary's church, Wigton. Mariae Hewson died June 1840.
Memmorial to John Beck died July 1846 St Cuthberts Carlisle.
Memmorial William carrick died October 1825. St. cuuthberts Carlisle.
Memmorial Margaret Ferguson Died November 1841. St. cuthberts Carlisle.
Memmorial to Charles James Graham died July 1847 Kirklinton Church
Memmorial to Mary Wilson Nixon died April 1847. Kirklinton Church.
Memmorial to Thomas George Pattinson died January 1818. Kirklinton Church.
memmorial to Captain James Spedding died 6th October 1851. St Bees church.
Charles Denton died December 1828. Sebergham Probably one of the memmorials with the most writing on!
Joshua Stalker died April 1816. Sebergham Church.
A mural plaque commemorating the setting up of a charity by the Rev Joseph Rawlins Henderson in February 1866 for the local poor.
William Atkinson died September 1826. Long Marton Church.
john Thompson died January 1837 Long Marton Church.
Gravestone to Annie Richardson Died August 1901 in Dalston Cemetery signed by Thomas Nelson.