The Brigantes of Horbury and discrict had been conquered by the Romans, but only after a tremendous struggle, and even they were difficult to control. In A.D. 43 the Romans had landed in the south of England and gradually pushing northwards, they finally conquered the British tribe of the Brigantes who inhabited this part of the country.Horbury and district proved particularly difficult for the immense forest of Elmete which covered the district between Leeds and Sherburn in Elmet almost reached borders of the village. The hamlet of emley was part of the forest and its name signified that elms were common in where they lived under their own chieftains and laws.
Probably some of the inhabitants of Horbury had fled, but those who remained could easily keep in touch with their outlaw friends. There is no evidence of Roman occupation of the village, but the invaders were quite close for a Roman villa probably existed on the present site of the Lupset Housing Estate and was situated somewhere between Snapethorpe Hall and the main Wakefield Dewsbury Road. A Roman road ran through Streethouse across Heath Common, Westgate Common and Ossett Street side to Kirkless and the across the Pennines to Manchester.
After nearly 300 years of occupation the Romans left Britain only to be succeeded by another wave of invaders, the Anglo Saxons from the shores of Northern Germany. Sailing across the North Sea in their long shallow-draught boats some followed the course of the River Humber and eventually reached Wakefield. So it was in the 6th century that Wacca one of these invaders found Wakefield to be a most suitable spot and settled there with his family. Hence the name Wakefield which means “the clearing in the forest belonging to Wacca”.
He may have occupied Horbury but there is no record although there is a tradition that a Saxon homestead stood on the site of what is now knowns as Castle Hill. The evidence for this account of a visitor to the village in the early 19th century who says that he saw the ruins of the place but as these buildings would be of wood it is almost certain that they could not have existed at that date.
Horbury is a large village in the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England and part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated north of the River Calder about three miles (5 km) south west of Wakefield and two miles (3 km) to the south of Ossett. It includes the outlying areas of Horbury Bridge and Horbury Junction. At the 2001 census the Horbury and South Ossett ward of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council had a population of 10,002. At the 2011 census the population was 15,032. Old industries include woollens, engineering and building wagons for the railways but the area is now largely residential & retail.
The forest still played a large part in the history of the district and inhabitants of Horbury could still vanish into its depths if the Saxons become too troublesome. Bears and wolves lurked there wild boar and deer could be found and eagles were by no means uncommon. Horbury people must have feared the long winter nights when the wolf packs howled. Thorught the forest flowed the River Kelder to reach the low lying lands round Horbury, Lupset and the swamps at Thornes. Many records of this period tell us a good deal about Horbury village.