HORNBY, a village, a township, and a chapelry, in Melling parish, Lancashire. The village stands at the confluence of the Wenning and the Lune rivers, adjacent to the Little Northwestern railway, 8½ miles NE by E of Lancaster; is neatly built; commands beautiful scenery along the valleys; is sometimes visited by tourists; has a station on the railway, a post office under Lancaster, and an inn; is a seat of petty sessions; was formerly a market town; and has still cattle fairs on every alternate Tuesday of the summer months. The township comprises 2,115 acres. Real property, £4,066. Pop., 317. Houses, 75. The manor belonged, in the 12th century, to Nicholas de Montbegon; passed to the Stanleys, Lords Monteagle; and belongs now to John Foster, Esq. Hornby Castle, the manorial seat, was founded by N. de Montbegon; retains two towers built by one of the Lords Monteagle and by Lord Wemyss; has undergone recent extensive renovations and improvements; and stands on an eminence, overlooking the rich surrounding scenery. The estate was the subject of a famous litigation, called "the Great Will Cause, " begun in 1826. Hornby Hall is the seat of John Murray, Esq. A Roman mound is near the Lune. A Premonstratensian priory, a cell to Croxton abbey, was anciently here; and was given, at the dissolution, to the Stanleys; and the remains of it are now a farm-house. The chapelry was constituted a parish in 1859, and is larger than the township. Pop., 455. Houses, 98. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £130. * Patron, John Foster, Esq. The church is ancient; has a chancel, and an octagonal tower, built by the first Lord Monteagle, after the battle of Flodden; and contains a tablet to Dr. Lingard, the historian. The shaft of an ancient cross is in the churchyard. A small Roman Catholic chapel, to the W of the church, was served by Dr. Lingard.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)