Hornby, Lancashire Genealogy

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Hornby St Margaret

Chapelry History

Hornby is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1741 from chapelry in Melling Ancient Parish.Other places in the parish include: Farleton.

The Parish is in the diocese of Blackburn, the archdeaconry of Lancaster and the deanery of Tunstall. Its benefice is combined with those of St Michael, Whittington, Lancashire, St John, Arkholme, Lancashire, and St John,  Gressingham, Lancashire.

A church was on the site in 1338. The oldest part of the current church is the octagonal tower which was built by Sir Edward Stanley, Lord Mounteagle, in 1514. Lord Mounteagle also arranged for the rebuilding of the chancel but this was incomplete when he died in 1524. In 1817 the old nave was demolished and replaced by a new nave. In 1889 a restoration was carried out by Paley, Austin and Paley. This consisted of the erection of north and south arcades and a clerestory, the removal of the west gallery, and the replacement of box pews by modern seating.

HORNBY, a township and chapelry, and formerly a market-town, in the parish of Melling, hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands, N. division of Lancashire, 9 miles (N. E.) from Lancaster; containing 318 inhabitants. This place is distinguished for its castle, which stands on the site of a Roman villa, on the summit of a bold rock of conical form, in many parts shrouded by trees, and washed by the Wenning at its base. The castle was originally founded soon after the Norman Conquest, and was subsequently the residence of the Stanleys, lords Monteagle, to one of whom the mysterious letter was sent which led to the discovery of the Gunpowder plot. It consists of two parts, of which the ancient part is in a neglected state. The foundations of two round towers, which may have been built by the Nevilles in the reign of Edward I., were removed some years ago; and a wall thirty-six feet in thickness, supposed to be the base of an ancient tower, was taken up not long since. The large square tower, or keep, the erection of Edward, first lord Monteagle, is the only part of the castle remaining: the modern restorations are in front of, and conceal, the ancient portions. Here are also the ruins of a fortress ascribed to the Saxons; and some remains of a priory, dedicated to St. Wilfrid, which was a cell to the Præmonstratensian abbey of Croxton, and the revenue of which at the Dissolution was valued at £26. The township lies on the road from Lancaster to Kirkby-Lonsdale; the scenery is very beautiful, embracing the picturesque and fertile vales of the Lune and Wenning, and in the distance are seen the hills of Ingleborough, Whernside, and Pennigant. The former market on Friday is disused, but a market for cattle, held every alternate Tuesday, is well frequented; and there is likewise a cattle-fair on the 30th of July. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £92; patron, Pudsey Dawson, Esq., the owner of Hornby Castle. The chapel, St. Margaret's, has an octagonal tower with pinnacles, which, with the chancel, was built in 1514 by Edward, Lord Monteagle, on the site of a previous building, in fulfilment of a vow he had made at the battle of Flodden-Field: the body was erected in 1817. In the chapel is a fine painted window representing the Ascension of Our Saviour, and containing the armorial bearings of the owners of the castle. There is a Roman Catholic chapel, of which the historian, the Rev. John Lingard, D.D., has been the officiating priest for thirty-six years.

From: 'Horbury - Horndean', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 547-550. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51044 Date accessed: 01 July 2010.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.


  • Pevsner, Nikolaus (2002) [1969], The Buildings of England: North Lancashire, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, pp. 146–147, ISBN 0 300 09617 8

Web sites

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