The village was named after Brian de Lisle, a Baron at the court of King John. The Rogers family owned it for a long period of time, and it was later purchased by Sir William Portman, 6th Baronet, who took part in crushing Monmouth's rebellion in 1685. In the 1890s the Portman family built a large country house, designed by Richard Norman Shaw and set in 400 acres (160 ha). Since 1927 the building has been the home of Bryanston School. In 1950 Viscount Portman gave up the Bryanston Estates as part payment of death duties. The estate was then owned by the crown until 2015 when the estate was purchased by a UK company held on behalf of the Viscount Rothermere and his son the Hon Vere Harmsworth for an undisclosed sum.