The earliest documentary reference to Burton-in-Lonsdale is in the Domesday book, which tells us that the township was in the holding of Tostig, Earl of Northumberland, and was a subsidiary vilage of Whittington in the Lune valley. The village has had a varied history and has been home to potteries and mills.
Burton Motte and Bailey Castle
Castle Hill, Burton in Lonsdale, is a large and imposing site, sitting on the outskirts of the village next to the church and dominating the route alongside the river Greta from Hornby (Lancaster) to Ingleton. The motte is some 9.6m higher than the surrounding fields and retains a breastwork wall around the upper part of the mound. A nearly square bailey lies on the west side of the motte and a second semi-lunar bailey is to the south. There are remains of both the outer defensive ditch and a counterscarp bank outside this. Excavations carried out in 1904 suggested that the site originated
as a ringwork in the 12th century and was converted into a motte
some time later. The castle was probably built to provide a line of supply
on the route to the recently established Norman castle at Carlisle.
Accounts presented to the in 1130 Exchequer by Robert de Widvilla and
Henry de Montfort for expenses ‘de castro de Burtona de Lanesdala’ for
payment of a ‘militis’ (knight),10 ‘servientes’ (sergeants), a ‘janitoris’
(gatekeeper) and a ‘vigil’(watchman) This record of the garrison, and the
costs incurred, are the earliest mention of a castle in the village.
The site went out of use in the mid 14th century. Burton Motte with defensive ditiches
photos by Matthew Permmott
Further information can be found at the following:
Stephens T. & Gregory S. (2006) Burton in Lonsdale in the Late Medieval Period North Craven Heritage Trust
Burton was once home to thirteen potteries and it was due to smoke from the kilns that the village became known as 'Black Burton'. The first potteries appeared in the late 1600's early 1700's and reached a peak of 13 working within a mile of the village centre in the 1800's. The Bateson family of the area were associated with pottery production for over 200 years. Amongst the potteries belonging to the Bateson family over the period were Bleaberry pottery, Greata (Greta) Bank pottery, Greata Mount pottery, Greta pottery' and Wilson pottery. Pottery production ceased in Burton in Lonsdale at the end of the Second World War, however two local potteries, Bentham pottery and Ingleton pottery now carry on the tradition. >> more information
There were two mills in Burton, one at Greeta House and another at Bog Beck. Greeta House mill which produced firstly cotton and then silk was four stories high with a tall chimney with machines being run by a turbine from the river weir and sluice gates. Bog Beck, produced bobbins and later became a stereoscopic works/studio and for the manufacturing Atmospheric gas for the villlage.
Local History Links
W. H. Chippindall (1931) “The parish registers of the church of Thornton-in-Lonsdale, 1576-1812”,
C.T.J. Dodson. The Earl of Derby's Courthouse at Burton in Lonsdale Hudson History, Settle, North Yorkshire, 2003.
C.T.J. Dodson. Richard Thornton's Endowments Sesquicentennial Year at Burton in Lonsdale Yorkshire History Quarterly Vol. 10 No. 1 (2004) 13-15.
A Bit about Britain
If you would like to know more about some of the area and a places to visit in Britain take a look at the website of a local resident who provides a fasinating insight into our past.