The Gentry is a history of England told through its families. This website contains family trees, a few maps and many images illustrating some of the background to the twelve families who carry the story of England in the book.

Read a sample chapter about Sir John Oglander, the 17th-century squire of Nunwell in the Isle of Wight, his life and family, his dreams and ambitions and the tragedies that struck him....

Kinmel: the entrance front

| Index |

Kinmel: the entrance front

Kinmel: the entrance front

The slightly cooked salmon pink of the perfectly laid brick is set against creamy limestone dressings under green-grey slate roofs. It looks like a house designed more for a party than for power or dominance. Exaggeratedly tall, eighteen-pane sash windows surround the front door and an enormous Queen Anne-ish hood announces the main entrance. A carved keystone above each window hints at the function of the room inside: an owl and a globe outside the library; a tambourine, a violin and a comic mask outside the ballroom; fish, fruit and fowl outside the dining room.

Nesfield’s pies are scattered all over the building, inside and out, up in the cornices of the servants’ wing, scattered like frisbees on staircases and panelling inside, an attempt to stay playful in the face of the overwhelming bulk of a building which stretches over 500 feet, through various hidden subsidiary courts, from ballroom to stable.

See The Gentry, p 329