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....

The Plumptons' Manors

Before the catastrophes of the 15th century began to erode the Plumptons’ landholdings, they had a large number of manors in distinct clusters around the north of England and the Midlands. In this they were typical of the upper gentry, who, from deep in the Middle Ages, were not bound to a single location , but through these dispersed landholdings —each cluster usually arriving in a family through marriage — came to have an awareness of the country as a whole.

Apart from their holdings at Plumpton near Knaresborough (A), the Plumptons had a manor at Studley Royal near Ripon (B). To the west of that there was a cluster of beautiful but rather poor manors in the Pennines, at Nesfield (C), Grassington (D) both in Wharfedale, and at Steeton (E) and Idle (F) in Airedale. 

 To the south in Nottinghamshire, they had rich lands at Kinoulton (G) and near Derby at Ockbrook, Sponden and Chaddesden (H, I and J).

Further north in the Peak District were another set of upland manors at Darley Hall (K) near Matlock, Stanton (L) , Edensor (M), where Chatsworth now is, Pilsley (N), Hassop (O) and Wormhill near Buxton (P).

Finally there was a group of landholdings in Staffordshire at and around Crakemarsh (Q) near Uttoxeter.

If you cannot see placemarks on this interactive map
please go to the static version


View Plumpton Manors in a larger map