The Doomsday Book states "in Brineshale, Dringlet had two carucates and two oxgangs to be taxed", and records state that it was all laid waste during the rebellion of the Anglians, and after conquest by the Normans. Little history is recorded beyond the 11th century when Robert de Romille took possession of Skipton yet the many relics from this time - some of which are to be seen in the church of St Wilfrid - prove both the antiquity and importance of Burnsall. The oldest part of St Wilfrids date from the 12th century and later portions from the 14th. The base of the front represents Norman ornamentation which would not be later that 1150. The list of records dates from the 13th century and a stone tablet records that this church was repaired and 'butified' by Sir William Craven who was Lord Mayor of London and on whom the tale of 'Dick Whittington' was based.
Burnsall (or in ancient times Brinshall or Brineshale) is claimed to mean either 'the hall by the burn' or, more probably, the hall of some headman of chieftain named Burn (meaning ruler). The affix Sal in Danish means the Chief room or hall.
He became a founder of a noble house (the Earls of Craven) giving his name to the Craven district in which we are situated. He was born in Appletrewick of poor parents. Moving to London, and taking a situation in a silk mercers business, his rise to wealth and dignity was rapid - by 1611 he became Lord Mayor of London. He founded the old Grammar School adjoining the church which is now our local primary school.
And what of The Red Lion which has been dispensing hospitality for centuries? The cellars (inhabited by a mischievous ghost who finds it amusing to turn off the beer taps and icemaker) date from the 12th century, and the original ‘one up, one down?structure which is now the bar from the 16th. Over the years The Lion has been gradually extended to form the lovely old building it is today. Beamed ceilings, creaky sloping floors and a wealth of character abound. The present owners - the Grayshon family - purchased the hotel in 1991 and have since sympathetically upgraded The Lion whilst still retaining the essential character of this lovely old country Inn.buywatch.org