Hornby is located in the beautiful Lune Valley on the A683 with the River Wenning running through the village and is overlooked by the medieval Hornby Castle. There is a church to one side of the river, St Margaret’s and a village institute to the other side and is part of the Parish of Hornby and Farleton. At St Margaret’s Church fragments of rare Anglo-Saxon crosses were found, thought to be linked to the monastery in Lancaster and possibly part of a larger collection discovered around the Lune Valley. A large cross base can be seen in the churchyard and two other pieces are inside the church.
Hornby castle was built during the 13th century and is now a privately owned Grade 1 listed country house. Parts of the castle also date to 1520, with the house being rebuilt in the early 1800s. The castle has dramatic views of the surrounding countryside and gardens and is available for bed and breakfast stays in one of several apartments. The gardens are also open to the public once or twice a year, where you can experience relaxing river walks and beautiful walled gardens.
Hornby village Institute is a listed building, built in 1916, designed by Austin and Paley who were prestigious Architects from Lancaster and was built for the male population of Hornby. It was a gift for the Lord of the Manor’s son for his 21st birthday and also for all the local men of the village where they could read and play billiards. For over fifty years, little or no investment was made in the building and it became quite rundown. Following a successful application for National Lottery funding to bring the building into the 21st century and a £1.3 million budget, work was started to transform the neglected building. It now boasts a Wenning Room overlooking the river, another room with views out to the hills along with several other rooms for socialising and is open to all.
Hornby’s main street is lined with Georgian dwellings and quaint stone built cottages and at the southern end of the street there is a Victorian drinking fountain with an interesting cat-and-rat crest linking it to the castle. One of the Georgian dwellings is the Castle Inn Bar and Bistro which also has boutique accommodation. The local butchers shop is famous for its steak pies and burgers, using local lamb and beef which is hung for a minimum of three weeks to improve the flavour. There is a Tea Room and Post Office (open six days a week) offering a full range of homemade dishes, all of which are sourced locally and the shop stock gifts made by local artists and businesses.
For visitors arriving by car, there is a car park next to the bridge over the river Wenning opposite the Institute which is a good starting point for one of the many walks taking in stunning views of the Lune Valley.