The attractive village of Hornby with its castle, church and honey coloured cottages lining the main street has a long and ancient history. The village itself grew up around an ancient packhorse route leading towards Slaidburn. Close by is Castle Stede, a motte and bailey overlooking the river lune and thought to be the original site of the castle erected by Horn and his Danish cohorts.
Hornby Castle sits on a hill overlooking the village and the River Wenning. It mainly dates from the 19th century, though the keep or Pele tower dates from the 13th century, and has been restored several times over the centuries.
North of the village, above Loyn Bridge, is the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle known as Castle Stede, of which substantial earthworks remain.
The parish church of St Margarets has an unusual octagonal tower supposedly built to commemorate victory at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513 by Sir Edward Stanley as thanks for his survival.
Driving towards Hornby from Claughton there is a Toll House thought to be the oldest in Britain. The Old Toll house Garage is the first place in the world to have white lines painted on the road. The garage owner was concerned by the number of accidents on the corner and hoped to reduce there frequency and althought the authorities were less than pleased with him he got the support of King George V himself and now they are used worldwide.
At the end of Hornby Main street is The Cat and Rat Fountain with the intials PD intertwined beneath the cat and rat along with the date 1858. This refers to a former Hornby Castle owner, Pudsey Dawson, who brought in a large number of cats to clear the castle of a plague of rats in the middle of the 19th century. He was also a founding Director of the North West railway and cut the first sod.
The site of an old railway bridge across the present A683 can be seen just outside Hornby on the Lancaster side. The keystone of this bridge was the Cat and Rat stone now above the fountain, removed when the line was doubled and an iron bridge was built to replace it.